Parents' decision following the Food and Drug Administration recommendation: The case of over-the-counter cough and cold medication

Yaniv Hanoch, Michaela Gummerum, Talya Miron-shatz, M. Himmelstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background  In 2007, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended against parents administering over-the-counter cough and cold medications (OTC-CCM) to children under 2 years of age because serious and potentially life-threatening side effects can occur. This study examined the impact of FDA's recommendations against giving children under 2 years old OTC-CCM.

Methods  We asked parents (n= 377) whether they knew of and trusted the FDA recommendations, as well as whether they intended to follow them. We also examined parents' knowledge, perceptions and behaviours with respect to OTC-CCM.

Results  About 33% of our sample had never heard of the FDA recommendations. Of those who were aware, 32.9% intended to continue administering OTC-CCM, and another 36.7% were not sure what to do. Our results indicate that parents who trust the FDA recommendations are significantly more likely to stop giving OTC-CCM to their children. However, almost half did not trust the FDA recommendations or were not sure whether to trust them. Our results indicate that parents who trust the FDA recommendation are significantly more likely to discontinue using OTC-CCM. Our data also reveal that many parents give more than one drug simultaneously (32.9%), cannot identify the active ingredient(s) (28.9%) or fail to store the medications in a safe place (86.1%).

Conclusion  Parents' confidence in the FDA recommendations predicted whether they would continue or stop administering OTC-CCM to their children. Our findings illustrate the urgent need for widespread public education about OTC-CCM products to ensure children's safety.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)795-804
Number of pages10
JournalChild: Care, Health and Development
Volume36
Issue number6
Early online date27 Apr 2010
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • decision making
  • over-the-counter coughand cold medication
  • parents
  • trust

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