Physicians group wants FDA to ban children's cold medicines

Filed under: Health & Safety: Babies, Medical Conditions, Home Remedies

Last winter, the FDA put out an advisory warning parents and caretakers that children under the age of two shouldn't be given over-the-counter cough and cold medications. A leading physicians group, Public Citizen's Health Research Group, thinks that the ban didn't go far enough. They'd like to see the FDA ban all OTC cough and cold medications for children under 12.

According to the group, there is little evidence that these medications work in children. Not only that, there have been 123 deaths associated with these meds between 1969 and 2006, and 7,000 kids a year are treated in emergency rooms due to problems with OTC cough and cold medications. "In the absence of direct evidence that a product is effective," said Dr. Alejandro Necochea, a research associate with the group, "No amount of toxicity is acceptable."

The FDA isn't in a rush to ban the medications, however. Calling for more data, they fear that if children's cough and cold medications are pulled from the shelves, the problem will be made worse by parents who will give kids adult medications instead. We cleaned these kinds of meds out of our medicine cabinet a long time ago, treating colds with fluids, a vaporizer, and lots of TLC, though I do keep Benadryl around in case of an allergic reaction.

What about you?

Did you stop using OTC cough and cold medications after the ban?
Absolutely. Safety is my number one concern.78 (41.7%)
Doctors-schmoctors. People worry too much.78 (41.7%)
My kids are robots who never get sick.7 (3.7%)
Other -- share with us in comments.24 (12.8%)

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.