Cold Meds: Not For Our Kids

SS Member Image By drodriguez 10.22.07
Cold Meds: Not For Our Kids
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Makers of popular cold medicines and cough medicines are now gearing up for a major change of plans. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently voted to ban over-the-counter cold medicines for all children under the age of 6.

Just last week we heard news of many popular cold medicine manufacturers voluntarily pulling their products from the shelves. The original withdrawal was only meant to remove drugs for infants ages 2 and under. But this new vote from the FDA calls for removal of all children’s cold medicines for ages 6 and under. For FDA recommendations watch this clip:

According to the FDA at least 45 children died in the United States after taking decongestants from years 1969 to 2006. Another 69 children died in this time range after taking antihistamines. It is believed that many children have suffered dangerous side effects from these drugs.

One of the safety concerns is that the dosage and means to measure properly are flawed. Parents can end up giving their child a harmful or lethal dose without even realizing. Another problem is that parents often give their child two different medicines without realizing the ingredients in each are similar, so they end up unknowingly giving their baby or child a double dose of a very strong drug.

On top of the possible dangers, many contest that these medicines are not necessarily effective. It has been reported that improper or little testing has been done on these drugs. Detroit pediatrician and member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ committee on drugs Dr. Daniel Frattarelli said blatantly in a New York Times article, “These medicines don’t help, they may hurt, so don’t use them.”

The new vote from the FDA is just a recommendation that cold medicines for children ages 6 and under be pulled. The Consumer Healthcare Products Association must now review the FDA’s findings and recommendation. A forced withdrawal of the cold medicines may take years.

What do you think of the Food and Drug Administration’s recommendation that cold medicines for children ages 6 and under be pulled from shelves?

Would you still give your young child cold medicine after hearing these reports?

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  • frogqueen75 By frogqueen75

    I will definitely continue & have already given my almost- 3-year-old cold/allergy medicine. I just made sure to do what I have always done: called the pediatrician's office with her current weight & asked for the correct dose based on her weight, NOT age! She is only 27 lbs, and if I just gave her the 3-year-old dose, it would be an overdose. Some households must medicate when any form of infection come in & prevent them from progressing; for example: I'm allergic to one of the ingredients of the flu shot & unable to get it, and am currently in a high-risk pregnancy, so if anyone in my house gets sick, they MUST be medicated because I cannot.

    FYI: just because a remedy is "natural", doesn't mean it's safe. Please do your research, as using the wrong homeopathic treatment for an illness or injury can make it much worse.

  • sadesmom By sadesmom

    I have recently decided to STOP giving my daughter all the OTC and prescribed medicine. It is all made of synthetic, man made products that, over the course of time, will eventually make a huge impact on her health. MOST doctors don't even give there own children these medications, never mind taking these for themselves when needed. There are too many natural remedies to use at home and much more cost efficent. If you think about it, 100 or more years ago they the world never even had these meds, they only had natural medicines, and they all made it right?

  • sillycat By sillycat

    when it comes to over the counter medicine for my kids i am very skeptical. there are so many medicines out there claiming to do this or that and be safe then you turn around and hear stuff that is not what you want to hear about medicine you been trusting to give your child. im not sure about the medicines these days. i try to do things diffrently and without medicine if possible for my kids.

  • shellie80 By shellie80

    After speaking to a pharmacist the ingredients in childrens & infants medicines are the same, its obviously the dosing that is different. Being that I am informed and only give one medicine at a time (to avoid double dosing) more than 8 hours apart I will continue to give the dosage my doctor has told me to for my childs age which in my case is a VERY small amount- less than .8mls.

    In my opinion where the meds come from wont make a difference, be it doctor prescribed or OTC, if people arent being smart even a script will kill a child if overdosed and given too often.

    I also give meds sparingly and try other methods before giving meds.

  • wendys By wendys

    Children's cold medicines are necessary. I think they are safe if given as directed. The major problem I have is the availability of graduated droppers and measuring devices. I always had a difficult time finding them in the drug stores. I think the drug companies should include graduated droppers with their products, especially for the infant medications when dosing is very small.

    Since the dosing and timing are important for safety, I think it should be written in a different color and larger print so it stands out. There are so many warnings and writing on the package and bottle that it all runs together and it is not always easy to find.

  • minari By minari

    I don't take cold meds for myself. I used pediacare once for my son and it made no difference at all. Plus the stress of measuring plus the inevitable vomiting under stress he did as a result of negotiating that dropper in his mouth. When he has had a fever (not that often), I've had to resort to putting it in a spoon (squirt dropper amount in spoon)and pretty much convincing him that he needed to take it. I don't take risks when it comes to high temps --- a great aunt is partially deaf b/c of a sudden high fever as a baby, and the father of a friend of mine became deaf as a very young child because of a fever as well.

  • sharman421 By sharman421

    Many cold medicines have decongestants which are cardiac stimulants. That is one thing children (and many adults) don't need.

  • mollybteague By mollybteague

    I am a firm belkiver that everything has its risks, even walking down the stairs, i am sure that tere have been just as many eaths caused by tylenol pm and other dotc medications in adults and it is not made to be that big of deal. I beleive that as long as you check the dosage and ingredients in the medication then it is fine to continue to use. I am not and will not allow my child tto feel awful when there is something uo there that can make her feel better.

  • cvarano By cvarano

    I don't have any children but I'm wary of cold medicines even for myself. My belief is to only take what you absolutely need. My cold will go away in the same amount of time whether I take medicine or not. The only thing I take is Tylenol or asprin when I have a fever and I'd probably do the same for my children.

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