Many Parents Have Trouble Figuring Out The Right Allergy Medicine For Children
Spring is here and with it comes the problem of allergies. With flowers in full bloom, people who are allergic to pollen need to be more cautious.
Pollen can cause severe allergic reactions in some children and adults. The symptoms usually include coughing, sneezing, and congestion of the nasal passages.
At a time like this parents have the difficult task of choosing the appropriate allergy medication for their child. However, according to a new study, the wide range of medication choices may possibly lead them to pick the wrong medicine.
Choosing The Right Allergy Medicine: An Overwhelming Decision?
The study, undertaken by Michigan University's C.S Mott Children's Hospital National Poll, showed that parents struggle when it comes to deciding the right dosage and the correct medication for allergy treatments.
The research was performed with 1,066 parents of children who were between 6 years to 12 years and hailed from all over the United States. The parents were quizzed on how they medicated their children for allergies. Over 50 percent of the participants admitted to have given their children allergy medication within the past year.
Over 85 percent of the parents gave the children allergy medicine, which was already present in the house. Alarmingly, one in five (roughly 18 percent) parents did not even check the expiration date of these medications.
The study revealed the alarming statistic that 15 percent or one in seven parents gave their children over-the-counter allergy drugs meant only for adult consumption. Nearly one third of these parents gave the recommended adult dose to their child, while nearly two-third parents administered a partial adult dose.
Even though the ingredients used in the adult medications are same as those catering to kids, the dosage is different for both. In medications marked for adults, usually, the adult dosage is mentioned and, therefore, the correct dosage for children may be hard to determine.
"If taken as directed, over-the-counter allergy medicines are safe and effective for children, but parents should be very careful to give their child the correct dose. Doses greater than recommended for children can result in more severe side effects," remarked Gary Freed who is the co-director of the study.
Advice To Parents
The doctors involved with the study suggest that it may be easier for parents to shop for medication if they read the ingredients on the box carefully. It may also be helpful for parents to match their child's allergy symptoms to the medicine, which is included in the drug being purchased.
To illustrate, antihistamines are great for countering itchy eyes and a runny nose, whereas decongestants are perfect for someone with a blocked nose.
Doctors advise that if parents still cannot figure out the right medication or the dosage, it is preferable to seek medical help.
The results of the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital Poll can be viewed online.
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