Attention parents – The medicines you use to help your children find relief from the common cold could actually send them straight to the hospital. The Baltimore City Health Department is warning the public about the dangers of over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold medicines when given to children. According to their petition sent to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), these OTC medicines should not be used in children under the age of six.
The petition criticizes the currently accepted “safe and effective” ruling by the FDA as unproven and potentially dangerous. In contrast, the report shows that in 2004 alone about 900 children less than five years of age in Maryland overdosed on OTC cough and cold medications. Since 2002, the Baltimore medical examiner has linked at least four deaths of children four years and younger to such overdoses.
The petition also outlines desired guidelines for the future. Along with declaring OTC cough and cold medicines to be unsafe for children under six, the petition asks that manufacturers change their labels and be subject to enforcement penalties at anytime.