A new study says that cough and cold medications are not advisable for children less than 2 years of age.
Researchers suggest that physicians need to counsel parents about the use of these potentially dangerous medications.
The study from Emergency Medicine Network led by Dr Katherine O'Donnell, of Children's Hospital Boston has shed light on the over-the-counter medication use in children under the age of two.
The researchers found that 1-in-3 children under the age of two with bronchiolitis, a lower respiratory tract infection associated with runny nose, cough, wheezing and/or difficulty breathing had received over-the-counter cough and cold medicines in the week prior to visiting an emergency department.
The study identified rates and predictors of cough and cold medication use prior to the manufacturer recall of and FDA recommendations against use of these medications in children younger than two years of age.
"After the recall and labelling changes, it will be important to monitor for potential ongoing use of these medicines in young children and observe if parents or physicians are turning to other therapies in place of these medications," said O'Donnell.
Knowing the fact that non-concentrated cough and cold formulations remain available for over-the-counter use, the authors encourage physicians to counsel all parents of young children about these ineffective and potentially dangerous medications.
Factors including daycare attendance, second-hand smoke exposure, recent antibiotic use and presence of wheezing were associated with increased use of cough and cold medications.
Infants as well as those with a history of hospitalization, were less likely to use these medications.
The study was resented at the 2008 SAEM Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C.