Child Fa­tal­ity Re­view Panel is­sues an­ti­his­tamine med­i­ca­tion warn­ing for par­ents and care­givers

Walker County Messenger - - Front Page -

The Georgia Child Fa­tal­ity Re­view (GCFR) Panel is is­su­ing a pub­lic aware­ness state­ment for par­ents and care­givers to never use an­ti­his­tamine med­i­ca­tions for the sole pur­pose of mak­ing chil­dren sleep or calm down. The dan­ger of such mis­use is acute diphen­hy­dramine in­tox­i­ca­tion that can re­sult in rapid heart rate, con­fu­sion, hal­lu­ci­na­tions, con­vul­sions, and even death.

Since 2013, the Georgia Poi­son Con­trol (GPC) Cen­ter has re­ceived 940 re­ports of this con­di­tion in­volv­ing chil­dren age 5 and un­der. In Georgia, four in­fants have died be­cause of the toxic ef­fects of diphen­hy­dramine since 2015.

The U.S. Food & Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion ad­vises that chil­dren un­der age two not be given any kind of cough and cold prod­uct that con­tains a de­con­ges­tant or an­ti­his­tamine, be­cause se­ri­ous and pos­si­bly life-threat­en­ing side ef­fects could oc­cur. Na­tional polling data has shown that as many as one in five moth­ers have given such drugs to get through a “big event,” such as a long car ride or plane trip. In some cases, it is dos­ing er­rors that cause the acute in­tox­i­ca­tion of the diphen­hy­dramine. The dif­fer­ence be­tween a ta­ble­spoon in­stead of a tea­spoon can mean life or death for an in­fant.

Not sure which an­ti­his­tamine is best for your child? Call your doc­tor or pe­di­a­tri­cian. If you think you gave too much med­i­ca­tion to your child, im­me­di­ately con­tact Poi­son Con­trol at 1-800-222-1222 or start a LIVE CHAT with a poi­son in­for­ma­tion spe­cial­ist at www.geor­giapoi­son­cen­ter.org.

The main pur­pose of the GCFR Panel is to pre­vent child deaths. The mis­sion of GCFR is to serve Georgia’s chil­dren by pro­mot­ing more ac­cu­rate iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and re­port­ing of child fa­tal­i­ties, eval­u­at­ing the preva­lence and cir­cum­stances of both child abuse cases and child fa­tal­ity in­ves­ti­ga­tions, and mon­i­tor­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion and im­pact of the statewide child in­jury pre­ven­tion plan to pre­vent and re­duce in­ci­dents of child abuse and fa­tal­i­ties in the state.

The GPC mis­sion is to pro­vide high qual­ity poi­son cen­ter ser­vices to health­care pro­fes­sion­als and res­i­dents of Georgia. GPC goals are: pro­vide 24-hour-a-day prompt and ac­cu­rate poi­son in­for­ma­tion, ed­u­cate Georgia res­i­dents on poi­son pre­ven­tion and first aid, and ed­u­cate health­care pro­fes­sion­als in the ar­eas of clin­i­cal tox­i­col­ogy, poisoning epi­demi­ol­ogy, poi­son pre­ven­tion, tox­i­co­log­i­cal di­ag­no­sis, and care.

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