[ Music ] >> Dr. Matt Davis: Hi. I'm Matt Davis. I'm a pediatrician at the C.S. Mott Children's
Hospital at the University of Michigan. I'm also the Director of the
Poll on Children's Health. We're here today to talk about
the problem of giving cough and cold medicines to young children. When grown ups have cough or cold symptoms
they may reach for over-the-counter remedies that are decongestants or cough
medicines or perhaps medicines that try to treat many symptoms at one time.
You may feel that when you use those
medicines they work for you as a grown up. But it turns out that same cough
and cold medicines are not safe to give to young children under age 4. Back in 2008 the Food and Drug
Administration advised the public that cough and cold medicines should not
be given to young children. Therefore, companies that make these
medicines change the labeling to be clear that they should not be given
to kids under age 4. However, it's possible that some parents may
not have gotten this message or may believe that the medicines that are helpful for
them may also help their young kids. At the National Poll on Children's Health we
ask parents across the country do you use cough and cold remedies for your young children. What we found when we asked parents across
the country about cough and cold remedies for children under age 4, is that 4 in 10
parents are still giving their kids such things as multi-symptom medicines and cough medicines.
About 1/4 are giving their kids decongestants. All of these medicines can be a hazard to young
kids in terms of causing rapid heart rate, overly sleepy behavior and
even nausea and seizures. One thing that can be confusing is that each of
these boxes is labeled as for use in children. The details, however, are on the back. And if you read the small
print, but it is pretty clear, these are not to be given
to children under age 4.
A general rule of thumb is if
it's worked for you as a grown up it still might not be safe for your kid. So, make sure to read the directions and if you
have any questions call your child's physician, nurse practitioner or other
primary care provider. [ Music ].