Over-the-counter cold medicines for children have come under fire from some doctors and health experts, who claim they are not safe for youngsters.
The Food and Drug Administration is holding a public hearing on the topic, which could lead to tougher regulations. Last year, makers of OTC cold products agreed they would stop marketing medicines at kids who are two or younger.
Around 190 million cold and cough medicines for children are sold each year in the U.S., resulting in a multi-million dollar industry. However, the FDA has admitted that its 30-year-old cold medicine standards did not involve separate studies to assess their safety for kids.
"Parents should know that there is less evidence than ever to support the use of over-the-counter cough and cold medicines for young children," Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, Baltimore’s health commissioner, told the Associated Press.
Dr. Neil Schachter, author of The Good Doctor’s Guide to Colds and Flu, suggests that old-fashioned, natural health remedies may help relieve kids’ cold symptoms.
For example, parents can use shower steam to combat congestion and feed their children chicken soup to fight the inflammatory compounds that may arise from cold and flu, he says.