U.S. government research has shown that the use of over-the-counter cough and cold medications in very young children may be very dangerous, even deadly.

In just one year, over 1,500 children under the age of 2 were taken to emergency rooms and three infants under the age of 6 months died from taking such medications.

Health experts advise that cough and cold medicines in children under 2 years of age need to be taken with caution and never without a doctor’s supervision since they are drugs and may have negative effects.
The thing is that o-t-c medications that contain pseudoephedrine, a nasal decongestant, have never been shown to have any beneficial effect on children less than 2 years of age and that they were not better than a placebo in infants.

The Government did take measures to prevent the use of such medications in very young children. In June 2006, the FDA took action to stop the manufacture of medications containing carbinoxamine, an antihistamine, which were inappropriately labeled for use in infants and young children. The sale of products containing pseudoephedrine has also been banned.

However, the measures did not entirely solve the problems as there are still many products out there that might be harmful to young children.
The three infants who died were 1 to 6 months old and they were found dead in their homes. The autopsies revealed that cough and cold medications were responsible for all three deaths.

Parents are being advised not to give their children these medications unless they are being supervised by a physician. Over –the- counter medicines usually contain the ingredients that doctors might have already prescribed and they may not contain approved dosing recommendations from the FDA for this age group.