Cough medications send some 7,000 children a year to US emergency rooms, according to a study by the US Centers for Disease Control.
The report, released Monday, comes on the heels a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) report Thursday warning parents against giving non-prescription cough and cold remedies to children under the age of two because of possibly life-threatening side effects.
Among children under 11 researched, those aged 2-5 accounted for 64 percent of all adverse drug events from cough and cold medications. Almost 80 percent of them were unsupervised ingestions, the CDC said in a statement.
"Parents need to be vigilant about keeping these medicines out of their children's reach ... (and) they should refrain from encouraging children to take medicine by telling the children that medication is candy," said CDC official Denise Cardo.
The medications in question include decongestants, expectorants, antihistamines, cough suppressants and other cold medications.