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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

Hold the Cold Medicine!

Oct 25, 2007 12:00AM

Non-prescription cold and cough medicines for infants and toddlers are being pulled from

pharmacy shelves due to reports of overdoses that have, in rare instances, led to death and serious injury.

Tylenol, PediaCare, Dimetapp, Robitussin and Triaminic are among the brands voluntarily recalled in anticipation of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration review on the safety of the infant/toddler drops and “thin strips”.

Recent studies show the benefits of such medications are questionable, and a group of doctors and public health officials who filed a petition with the FDA are asking if any benefit justifies the potential risks to young children. In August, the FDA advised against administering any cold and cough medicines to children under 2 years old without specific instructions from your pediatrician, but the agency has not yet determined its next step regarding the products.

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association states that regular children’s over-the-counter cold and cough medicines “are both safe and effective when used correctly,” and that the “withdrawal only affects oral infant cold and cough medications.”

However, the common cold is a virus, which must simply run its course, so if OTC cold medicines only give your child a fuzzy-headed feeling, consider these approaches:

  • Encourage plenty of rest and fluid intake.
  • Let your child’s appetite dictate what and how much to eat.
  • Relieve congestion with a cool-mist vaporizer or saline nasal spray.