January 19, 2008

Cold Medicines Bad for Toddlers and Babies

The government is recently stating that over-the-counter cough and cold medicines are not safe for toddlers and babies. In October, drug companies stopped selling dozens of nonprescription cold medicines that were targeted towards young children and babies. The Food and Drug Administration’s scientific advisers voted that the drugs don’t work in small children and shouldn’t be used on any children under the age of 6 years old.

The Food and Drug Administration hasn’t decided yet if OTC decongestants, antihistamines, and cough suppressants are okay for children older than 6 years old. The FDA is warning that serious and possibly life-threatening side effects can happen. The possibilities of serious side effects are small but they do happen to some children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported more than 1,500 babies and toddlers had to go to the emergency room over a two-year period because of the drugs and medicines. The biggest risks come from giving a child an overdose of medicine.

If a toddler or baby is sick, it is best to give the child plenty of liquids, let the child get lots of rest, give the child saline drops if it has a stuffy nose, and use humidifiers while the child is sleeping.

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