PAR­ENTS WARNED

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - OPINION -

AUS­TRALIAN par­ents are spend­ing an es­ti­mated $67 mil­lion on cough and cold medicines known to be in­ef­fec­tive and in some cases po­ten­tially harm­ful.

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

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

Par­ents of young chil­dren who are ad­vised to use an over-the­counter cough or cold medicine should chal­lenge the ad­vice; if your child is un­der six years of age, do not buy it.

We also found that an es­ti­mated $74 mil­lion a year is spent on vi­ta­mins and sup­ple­ments even though there are no proven health ben­e­fits for chil­dren on a nor­mal diet and with no nu­tri­tional de­fi­cien­cies. DR ANTHEA RHODES, di­rec­tor, Aus­tralian Child Health Poll, The Royal Chil­dren's Hospi­tal, Mel­bourne.

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