The U.S. government stated that cough and cold medicines send about 7,000 children annually to emergency rooms. This comes less than two weeks after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned parents that over-the-counter cough and cold medicines should not be given to children under the age of 2.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researchers used reports of children 11 and under who had taken cough and cold medications and ended up in 63 hospitals studied from 2004-2005. The study found:
The emergency room case reports did not detail symptoms, and the cases were not followed through to see if any deaths resulted. The reports that did have detailed symptoms included hives, itching, drowsiness, unsteady walking, and unresponsiveness.
The study will appear in the April issue of Pediatrics, a journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.