Lifewatch: Pediatric cough and cold meds

Reported by Claire Hosmann - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

(WECT) - A new study shows many caregivers are having trouble understanding instructions for children's cold and cough medicines.

According to the FDA, most problems with cough and cold medicines occur when more than the recommended amount it used.

About a year ago the FDA came out with an advisory saying it was too risky for children under the age of two to be given over-the-counter cough and cold medicines.

Now, a study shows that many parents are confused about how to read drug labels and still think it's appropriate for young children to take these medications.

A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics looked at how well about 180 parents and caregivers followed instructions for children's cough and cold medicines.

The medicines currently on the market are designed for children ages 4 and older, but the study found that the majority of parents misread the labels and responded that infants younger than two could use the medicines even though the box instructions recommend asking your doctor before giving the drugs to a baby under two.

Researchers suggest that pediatric cough and cold products need new labeling with graphics that are less confusing and written instructions that are easier to understand.

Overdosing children on these medications can be dangerous and leading to convulsions, rapid heart rate, and decreased levels of consciousness.

These medicines will not make your child get better any faster, and should be used only if they are making your child feel more comfortable.  If your child is not improving, call your doctor.

To learn more about children's health and the risk of medicines, click here.