WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) issued the following statement in response to a study published today in Pediatrics. The study found that from 2002 to 2012 cough and cold medication errors decreased significantly in children under 6 years old, but the number of other medication errors rose to an average of 63,358 per year. In 2007 CHPA members voluntarily withdrew infant cough and cold products and added further voluntary label changes in 2008 for use only in children ages 4 and older. We also launched educational programming to communicate the changes.
The makers of over-the-counter medicines are encouraged to see that voluntary label changes to children s cough and cold products have contributed to a reduction in medication errors in this category, and we remain committed to continuing our efforts to prevent all medication errors
The makers of over-the-counter medicines are encouraged to see that voluntary label changes to children s cough and cold products have contributed to a reduction in medication errors in this category, and we remain committed to continuing our efforts to prevent all medication errors, said CHPA President and CEO Scott Melville.
Through the CHPA Educational Foundation, we work with government agencies and healthcare professional groups to remind parents of young children to always read and follow the label and to store medicines up and away and out of sight. Reading and following the label and using the proper dosing device that comes with the medicine are key steps parents and caregivers should always take to ensure they treat their children with care.
In recent years, the industry has made additional efforts to reduce medication errors. In mid-2011, CHPA members voluntarily transitioned to one concentration of single-ingredient pediatric liquid acetaminophen. At the same, we standardized the dosing unit of measurement and provided age-appropriate dosing devices in all packages. Since the Pediatrics study includes data compiled from 2002 to 2012, we have yet to see how the pediatric acetaminophen changes have helped reduce medication errors. We have also filed a citizen s petition calling on FDA to require manufacturers to include age- and weight-based dosing directions on the label for infants as young as 6 months. Unfortunately, the approved label today only directs caregivers to consult a doctor for children under age 2.
Below are the top tips from the CHPA Educational Foundation s website OTCsafety.org for parents and caregivers to follow when giving medicine to children:
- Always read and follow the label.
- Do not use oral cough and cold medicines in children under the age of 4.
- Always give the recommended dose and use the correct measuring device. Never use longer than the label instructs or at higher doses, unless your doctor specifically tells you to do so.
- Only use the medicine that treats your child s specific symptoms.
- Never give two medicines with any of the same active ingredients.
- Never use cough, cold, or allergy medicines to sedate your child.
- Never give aspirin-containing products to children and adolescents for cold or flu symptoms unless told to do so by a doctor.
- Do not give a medicine only intended for adults to a child.
- Stop use and contact your doctor immediately if your child develops any side effects or reactions that concern you.
- Keep all medicines and vitamins out of your child s reach and sight.
- Consult a doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider with any questions.
The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) is the 133-year-old trade association representing the leading manufacturers and marketers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and dietary supplements. Every dollar spent by consumers on OTC medicines saves the U.S. healthcare system $6-$7, contributing a total of $102 billion in savings each year. CHPA is committed to promoting the increasingly vital role of over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements in America s healthcare system through science, education, and advocacy.
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