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Some Child Cough Medicine Deaths Could Be Crimes

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Not every death of a young child from an overdose of an over-the-counter cold or cough medicine is accidental, a study has determined.

“Some of the 103 children who died after taking over-the-counter cough medicines may have been deliberately given overdoses to sedate or even kill them, expert reviewers found in a study of deaths the past four decades,” reports Bloomberg.

The deaths studied involved children from infancy to 10 years old, although 75 percent were no more than 2 years old. The study was published today in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

It is now recommended that children be at least 4 years old, and preferably 6 years old, before they are given nonprescription cold or cough medicines. Labels should also be changed to warn users that the medicine shouldn’t be used to sedate children, says the study’s lead author, Richard Dart. He is director of the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center in Denver.

Related coverage:

Suit Blames Infant’s Death on Cold Medicine

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