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Pediatric OTC study shows caregiver confusion

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Parents reading the front label of OTC pediatric cough/cold products overwhelmingly believe them safe for children younger than 2 years, despite language advising consultation with a doctor before administering to that age group, a study says. The report on parental misinterpretations of cough/cold drug labels, published in the June Pediatrics journal, concludes the word "infant" and graphics such as teddy bears on labels led 86 percent of the 182 recruited caregivers to say they would give the products to children younger than 2 years. After viewing an entire product package, 51 percent said they would administer the drugs to a 13-month-old, said researchers led by Russell Rothman of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Heinz Schneider, VP of science & medical affairs for the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, noted in a May 26 statement the study created an "artificial scenario" using pediatric products that have since been withdrawn from the market in the wake of safety and efficacy concerns about pediatric cough/cold drugs (1"The Tan Sheet" Oct. 13, 2009, p. 4)

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