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Study reveals cold medicine “risks”

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A new study shows that about 7,000 children a year are treated in US hospitals after having taken cough and cold medicines.

The US government report said that about two-thirds of the cases related to youngsters who took the medicines unsupervised.

However, the study by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), found that in about 25% of the cases, parents had given their children the proper dosage and an allergic reaction or some other problem had then developed.

The study included both over-the-counter and prescription medicines, and was published less than two weeks after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned parents that over-the-counter cough and cold medicines are too dangerous for children under the age of two.

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CDC researchers gathered case reports of children aged 11 and under who had taken cough and cold medications and ended up in hospital in 2004 and 2005.

The study found that nearly two-thirds of the cases involved children aged between two and five.

“The main message is no medication left in the hands of a three-year-old is safe,” said the CDC’s Dr Melissa Schaefer.

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