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Cold remedies for infants and toddlers

   NPR reported yesterday that in response to pressure brought by a group of Pediatricians, several makers of infant and toddler cold medications were pulling the medications from the shelves.  The withdrawal was voluntary and included only medicines designed for children under the age of two.  The Pediatrician and consumer groups whose activism led to the withdrawal claimed that it did not go far enough and should have included all meds marketed to children under the age of six.  The physicians and consumers maintain that these drugs are not effective in children under the age of six and that they result in nearly 100,000 overdose hotline calls per year.  Manufacturers conceded that the drugs have not been tested in younger children and that accidental overdoses administered by parents (in the middle of a sleepless night) must be addressed.  The manufacturers deny that the drugs are dangerous on any other basis and continue to sell medications designed and marketed for "infants".  Between 1969 and 2006 there were more than one hundred confirmed deaths of children related to the administration of antihistamines or decongestants.

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