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Parents should not give cold medicines to children under two years of age, due to health risks posed by side effects of the medications. In a Public Health Advisory released today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns parents that "over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold medicines should not be used to treat infants and children under 2 years of age because serious and potentially life-threatening side effects can occur." The Public Health Advisory also contains detailed instructions and safety precautions on giving these medications to children over the age of two, because FDA has also received reports of serious side effects from cough and cold medicines in older children. The Chicago Tribune reports that the FDA will decide by this spring whether or not these cold medications are in fact safe enough for use by older children. Today's announcement follows a similar warning issued by FDA in August 2007.
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