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Author Topic: Keeping Cough Syrup From Toddlers  (Read 5065 times)

Offline CareDC

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Keeping Cough Syrup From Toddlers
« on: December 08, 2008, 04:34:59 PM »
This article is from the US, however, it is valid in Canada IMO.

Each year, American parents spend an estimated $300 million on non-prescription children's cold remedies. More than a third of all households buy the medicines. A recent study found that in any given week, around 10 percent of U.S. children are taking them. But much disagreement remains among doctors, health experts, drug companies and federal officials about their safety and efficacy.

Yesterday, a top Food and Drug Administration official rejected a call by doctors' groups and others to ban over-the-counter cough and cold products for children under 6. Today, drug companies took a partial step anyway, advising parents not to allow children under age 4 to take the medicines.

That boosts the previous health advisory which said the medicines shouldn't be given to children under 2.

But the change does not go as far as a panel for the Food and Drug Administration, which recommended last year that children up to age 6 should not use such medicines because their effectiveness has not been studied in kids, and the risks outweigh their benefits.

The under-6 provision is supported by groups such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, which says there is not enough research to show how the products affect children.

Offline CareDC

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Re: Keeping Cough Syrup From Toddlers
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2008, 01:59:05 PM »
"With the cough and cold season upon us, the nonprescription medicines
industry, Health Canada and health professionals are all working together to
help parents and caregivers treat their children's coughs and colds," said
industry spokesperson Gerry Harrington.
    Parents and caregivers are reminded that the key to ensuring the
continued safe use of these products is to read and follow label directions
carefully and, if any questions remain, to consult with a health care
professional such as a doctor or pharmacist. Specifically, parents and
caregivers should follow these rules when treating their children with cough
and cold medicines:

    - Always read and follow label directions carefully when giving any
      medicine to your child.
    - Do not give cough and cold medicines to children under the age of six
    - Never give a cough or cold medicine to your child unless it has
      specific dosing instructions for their age group.
    - Do not use cough and cold medicines with any other medicines unless you
      consult your doctor or pharmacist first.
    - Do not use cough and cold medicines containing antihistamines to calm
      children or help them get to sleep.
    - When using medicines that come in liquid form, be sure to use an
      appropriate measuring spoon/device to administer the correct dosage.
      These are readily available in all pharmacies.
    - Always keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children and
      know the telephone number of your local poison control centre in the
      event that accidental ingestion of a medicine by a child does occur.
    - If you are ever unsure about the appropriate use of a medicine for your
      child, consult a pharmacist, doctor or your provincial health
      information service (e.g. BC HealthGuide or Nurseline, Saskatchewan
      Healthline, Telehealth Ontario, Info Santé, etc.).

Offline CareDC

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Don't give kids under 6 cold meds: Health Canada
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2008, 09:52:03 PM »
Health Canada is warning parents not to give cough and cold medication to children under six-years-old.

Last year, the agency recommended that cough and cold medication shouldn't be given to children under two, unless directed to do so by a health care practitioner.

Health Canada says it is raising the age limit after having conducted further analysis of available information.

The agency provided the following reasons for increasing the cut-off age:

- Recommendations from Canadian and international health professionals and experts that these medicines should not be used in children under 6;

- Body weight and its affect on how medicines work. Some children between the ages of 2 and 6 years may weigh the same as other children who are less than two years old, the most vulnerable group;

- Children under the age of 6 years generally have more colds compared to older children and therefore, are likely to be exposed more frequently to these medications; and

- Younger children are less likely to be able to communicate a potential side-effect from a cough and cold medicine and to ask their parents/caregivers for help in the same way a child over the age of 6 can.


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