TUESDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- More than 40 percent of parents with children younger than 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 to 3 years to examine their use of cough and cold medicines. Fifty-seven percent of those contacted to participate responded.
The researchers found that 42 and 44 percent of parents reported giving their under-4-year-olds cough medicine or multi-symptom cough and cold medicine, respectively. Twenty-five percent 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, M.D., 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."
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