FDA Issues Warnings, Parents Continue Medicating Children Under 2

Many cold and cough medicines may be unsafe for young children

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned about potential health risks from cold medicines, explaining that they may accidentally poison infants and young children. Despite warnings, more than 50 percent of parents continue medicating children younger than 2 years old with these potentially poisonous remedies.

Parents may not be the ones to blame entirely, however. Experts discovered that at least half of physicians have explained to parents that the over-the-counter cold medicines were effective and safe for children, disregarding governmental warnings.

In 2008, the FDA issued warnings about many medicines, causing drastic recalls of many cold drugs.

Researchers found that more than 60 percent of parents, despite warnings, had given children under 2 years old medicines. The highest users were blacks, as 80 percent gave their children medicine, while white parents medicated children less than 60 percent of the time. Additionally, usage was highest among families with the lowest income.

In many cases, parents explained their primary goal was to help the child sleep better, and many other parents explained that a physician had recommended the medicine.

Experts explain that physicians should pay closer attention to governmental warnings, creating a sense of uniformity between the information they receive and what parents receive.