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FDA ISSUES GUIDELINES ON USE OF OTC DRUGS IN CHILDREN

 FDA ISSUES GUIDELINES ON USE OF OTC DRUGS IN CHILDREN
 WASHINGTON, Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The Food and Drug


Administration today reminded parents and child care providers to carefully follow label instructions when giving non-prescription medications to children.
 "Children are not small adults," FDA Commissioner David A. Kessler, M.D., said. President Bush has proclaimed Oct. 5 as National Child Health Day.
 "If you take a dose meant for an adult and simply reduce it for a child, you may be giving that child more than is needed -- or not enough," Kessler said. "Some parents think they can double the dose if their child seems twice as sick. That's incorrect and dangerous."
 Approximately 40 percent of U.S. consumers use non-prescription medicines to treat illnesses in the home. Most treatments are for colds and cold-related symptoms that occur most frequently in the fall and winter.
 To reach consumers and health professionals, the FDA is also sending letters and background information to health reporters and the medical press; publishing a brochure that will be available through the Consumer Information Center in Pueblo, Colo.; and planning to discuss the issue in a forthcoming edition of the agency's Medical Bulletin that is mailed to physicians throughout the country.
 The statement and recommendations by the agency on proper and safe use of non-prescription drugs were prompted in part by the inadvertent overdosing of children when parents either misread medicine dose cup markings or did not follow directions properly (See Press Release 92-1, Jan. 21, 1992).
 FDA, industry and consumer groups have ongoing programs to encourage consumers and patients to follow instructions carefully and adhere to cautions and warnings on non-prescription and prescription medicines. Recommendations include the following:
 -- Use child-resistant caps to prevent accidents, and do not leave caps off containers.
 -- Store medicines as instructed and in a safe place out of reach of children.
 -- Don't give medicine to children unless it is recommended for them on the label or by a physician.
 -- Don't use medicine for purposes that are not called for on the label.
 -- Don't try to remember the dose used during previous illnesses; read the label each time.
 -- Don't guess when converting measuring units -- for example, from teaspoons (TSP) or tablespoons (TBS) to ounces. Check with a reliable source, such as a pharmacist.
 -- Examine dose cups carefully. Cups may be marked with various units of measurement, including TSP, TBS, OZs, drams, and others and may not use standard abbreviations. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label.
 -- Check with a doctor before giving a child more than one product at a time.
 -- Check with a doctor before treating a child with aspirin products. Aspirin should not be used for childhood flu or chickenpox.
 FDA's educational program is being carried out jointly with other Public Health Service agencies and the Non-prescription Drug Manufacturers Association. For a free copy of the brochure on treating children with over-the-counter medications, write to: Child Health, Pueblo, Colo. 81009.
 -0- 10/5/92
 /NOTE: TV Broadcasters please use open caption for the hearing impaired./
 /CONTACT: Mike Shaffer of the Food and Drug Administration, 301-443-3285 or, after hours, 301-831-9364/ CO: Food and Drug Administration ST: District of Columbia IN: MTC SU:


KD -- DC009 -- 6571 10/05/92 12:05 EDT
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Date:Oct 5, 1992
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