Think twice before giving cough and cold medicines to your children | health and fitness | Hindustan Times
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Think twice before giving cough and cold medicines to your children

Canadian researchers warn that readily available over-the-counter cough and cold medications can do children more harm than good, and have suggested stronger measures to curtail the use of these medications among kids.

health and fitness Updated: Mar 16, 2016 19:24 IST
The research finds that about 18% of children surveyed still receive cough and cold medications despite label warnings advising against their use among kids under the age six.
The research finds that about 18% of children surveyed still receive cough and cold medications despite label warnings advising against their use among kids under the age six.(Shutterstock)

Canadian researchers warn that readily available over-the-counter cough and cold medications can do children more harm than good, and have suggested stronger measures to curtail the use of these medications among kids.

The research comes on the heels of India recently banning the manufacture and sale of more than 300 combination medicines, including two widely used cough syrups.

For the current study, the researchers asked parents of 3,500 children under the age of six about their use of cough and cold medications from 2008 to 2011.

Read: Now, fight the common cold with these DIY home remedies

The researchers found that about 18% of children still received cough and cold medications despite label warnings advising against their use in children under the age six in 2009.

Following the introduction of Health Canada’s 2009 labelling requirement, there has been a small decrease in over-the-counter cough and cold medication use in children — down from 22% before the change.

The study was published in the Canadian Journal of Public Health.

Following the introduction of Health Canada’s 2009 labelling requirement, there has been a small decrease in over-the-counter cough and cold medication use in children. (Shutterstock)

“We found that a large number of young children continue to receive over-the-counter cough and cold medications even with evidence of harm, public health advisories from government agencies and mandated labelling requirements for manufacturers,” said lead researcher Jonathon Maguire from St. Michael’s Hospital in Ontario.

“In addition, evidence suggests these medications are not effective in young children. With no real benefit and documented risks, stronger measures may be needed to curtail their use,” Maguire noted.

Read: Dabur Honitus, Patanjali cough syrup may gain from govt drug ban

“I think a lot of parents would be surprised to learn that these medications can be harmful to children,” Maguire said.

“Better public awareness as well as making these readily available medications harder to purchase may help to reduce their use,” Maguire pointed out.

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