Infant medication recall brings safety to children

By Liz Lavin
November 1, 2007

Infant cold medicine is being voluntarily recalled because of “rising safety concerns and fear of misuse.” I’m sorry – what?

Some manufacturers recalling their infant medication are Tylenol, Pediacare and Johnson & Johnson.

When I first heard about this recall my initial reaction was, what will parents do for their kids? How will babies stay healthy?

However, as soon as I started researching the topic, my reaction quickly changed to, why is this just happening now? And why is it voluntary?

Infant medication is not a new thing. If the risk of using it outweighs the benefits, why is it on the shelves at all?

I always assumed that babies took medicine just like any other person. Ignorant, yes but considering I don’t have kids, the type of medication they take wasn’t one of my big concerns. For all of you who think like me, let me fill you in.

Infant medication can raise a baby’s heart rate and interfere with their breathing. I would consider that a pretty big side effect and it’s a good thing I didn’t know that one year ago, when my nephew was mere months old during the cold and flu season.

Also, doctors rarely recommend that parents give their children under two years old any over-the-counter medication. They suggest the old-fashioned remedies of lots of liquids, lots of rest and sleeping with a humidifier.

Doctors are finding rare patterns of misuse in these medicines. Rare, yes but by taking the medication off the shelves there is a way to make these instances almost nonexistent.

A baby overdosing on medicine can lead to death. Again, why are these on the shelves? And if they have to be, why are they not properly labeled?

Parents spend about $500 million a year on this medicine, so of course any form of a health risk for your baby is in size 1 font at the bottom of the bottle. Lastly, what parents out there are drugging up their child so much that the helpless, vulnerable baby dies?

Do we really live in an age where as soon as your child coughs, your first thought is, get some drugs in this baby! That’s not your doctor’s opinion, so why don’t you give him a call.

But this is not an issue that can be blamed on the parents, though some should consider a second opinion before running to the drug store. I do not believe that the parents whose babies have died as a result of overdosing did it intentionally. It goes back to the lack of information the consumers are receiving.

What a parent is putting in their baby’s body should be nowhere near what they would put in their own. That seems like common sense to me but I’ve never walked in the shoes of a parent with a crying, sick baby. But if the correct dosage and safety risks are not known or pointed out, get it off the shelf.

I sincerely hope that the manufacturers of these medicines don’t have them on the shelves just for the money but I can’t see any other reason. This medication has never been tested on infants.

The FDA is trying to get parents to simply stop giving the medicine to their children.

No research supports that this medication helps in children at all under two or much in children under six. I do not understand how the makers of these products can claim that their products work and are not dangerous when doctors, for the most part, unanimously agree that parents use a natural remedy rather than one out of a bottle.

The medication should have to be taken off the shelves until someone can give a valid reason as to how it helps a baby’s health. It will be easier for parents to sleep at night knowing their baby is breathing just as easy as they are.

Liz Lavin

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