Despite Warnings, Parents Give Cough Medicine to Preschoolers
(HealthDay News) – >40% of parents with children <4 years of age give them cough medicine or multi-symptom cough and cold medicine, despite warning labels that products should not be used for young children, according to a report published by the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.
Noting that over-the-counter cough and cold medications have a warning label indicating that these products should not be used for children under the age of 4, researchers from the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital conducted a survey involving a national sample of 498, randomly-selected parents of children aged 0–3 years to examine their use of cough and cold medicines. 57% of those contacted to participate responded.
The researchers found that 42% and 44% of parents reported giving their under-4-year-olds cough medicine or multi-symptom cough and cold medicine, respectively. 25% reported giving their children decongestants. There was no difference in parents' use of cough and cold medicines by parent gender, race/ethnicity, or household income.
"These products don't reduce the time the infection will [last] and misuse could lead to serious harm," Matthew M. David, MD, director of the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health, said in a statement. "What can be confusing, however, is that often these products are labeled prominently as 'children's' medications. The details are often on the back of the box, in small print."