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'Experts wrong in giving kids drugs': letter

AUSTRALIAN parents are spending an estimated $67 million on cough and cold medicines that are known to be ineffective.

And in some cases these cough and cold medicines are potentially harmful.

The Australian Child Health Poll found that a third of children under six years of age were being given cough and cold medicines, even though they were not recommended for use within this age group.

What is particularly disturbing is that among parents who were giving these products to their young children, 74% said they were told to do so on the advice of a pharmacist, and 64% on the advice of a doctor.

Parents of young children who are advised to use an over-the-counter cough or cold medicine should challenge the advice.

If your child is under six years of age, don't buy these over-the-counter cough or cold medicines.

We also found that an estimated $74 million a year was being spent by parents on vitamins and supplements for use by their children.

This was despite there being no proved health benefits for children on a normal diet and with no nutritional deficiencies.

Dr ANTHEA RHODES,

Director, Australian Child Health Poll



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