A study conducted by the University of Michigan reveals that over 40 percent of parents give their children wrong medicines for cough and cold.
The Food and Drug Administration had issued an advisory in 2008 stating that cough and cold medicines should not be used for children below four as they are not effective. The drugs may cause serious problems in children.
These problems may include allergic reactions, increased or uneven heart rate, drowsiness or sleeplessness, slow and shallow breathing, confusion or hallucinations, convulsions, nausea and constipation.
"The chances that parents had given over-the-counter cough and cold medicines to the young kids did not differ whether we were talking about moms and dads....different racial and ethnic groups....different income levels or different education levels," said Matthew Davis, director of the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health.
According to Davis, warning signs written on the medicines are not of much help.
"All of these medicines are labeled as children's medications. And in order to know that they are not recommended for children under age 4, you have to read the very fine print on the box or on the bottle label," says Davis.
He suggested an awareness campaign for parents about these drugs. Davis advised parents to be careful about reading the directions. Consulting with the pediatrician or health care provider about questions regarding over-the-counter medications will also help, according to Davis.