Are you harming your kid?
When your child has a cold, do you take her to the doctor or just get some non-prescription medicine?
Many parents give their children too large or frequent doses of non-prescription medicines for fever, coughs and colds, putting their health at risk, according to an Australian study released Monday.

"Many children are being put at risk by parents’ over-use of widely-available over the counter medicines for fever, coughs and colds," concluded the study by University of Sydney researchers presented at a conference of the International Pharmaceutical Federation.

"We were surprised and concerned to find that some people thought that medicines must be safe because you can buy them without prescription", said Rebekah Moles, who headed up the study of 97 parents and day care centre employees.

"Taking all the scenarios together, 44% of participants would have given an incorrect dose, and only 64% were able to measure accurately the dose they intended to give", said Moles.

Only 14% managed the fever scenario correctly.

The noted that 48% of calls in 2008 to the New South Wales Poisons Information Centre, which receives all out of hours calls from around Australia, concerned accidental overdose in children, with 15% needing hospitalisation.

Australia is unlikely to be a special case, the researchers said, and they believe that the inappropriate use of children's medicines is widespread throughout the world.

"It is vital that parents worldwide should understand the proper usage of medicines so that they do not continue to put their children's health at risk," said Moles.

Do you give your children non-prescribed medication?
More on

Read Parent24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Everything from parties to pre-schools in your area.

Jobs - Find your dream job

Reporting Accountant

Cape Town
Network Finance Professional / Prudential
R310 000.00 - R360 000.00 Per Year

Java Developer

Network IT Recruitment
R450 000.00 - R500 000.00 Per Month

Financial Manager

Communicate Recruitment: Finance 3
R750 000.00 - R800 000.00 Per Month

Property - Find a new home