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FDA To Start Labeling Medicine Meant For Young Children

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Avoiding overdoses.  The FDA has agreed to major changes to some popular over-the-counter children's pain relievers.

Kai Jackson explains the new information that could save your child's life.

Medication labeling for children under age two is an idea many parents would like to see fast-tracked to prevent accidents or tragedies.

When children are sick, over-the-counter medications can be wonder drugs.

"You don't know if it's too little, if it's too much," said one parent.

That's because children's medicine with acetaminophen doesn't have dosage directions for children under two.  The label tells parents to consult their pediatrician.  Doctors say that's not enough.

"We not only need to use the right dose but we need to use it at the right interval," said Dr. Jessica Sessions, pediatrician.

Apparently an FDA panel agrees.  They voted unanimously in favor of adding doses for children six months to two years old to over-the-counter acetaminophen formulas. 

Dr. Charles Shubin is a pediatrician at Mercy Medical Center.

"What they're recommending now is that there will be dosage guidelines for children from six months to two years," Shubin said.

It's a problem that health experts say results in 7,500 dosing errors each year.

"I usually try to go by the recommended dose," said Greg Coffey, who can do that because his children are older.

"Then you gotta monitor them also to make sure you don't overdose the children," said George Watford.

The FDA is also considering requiring all drugs to have the same measuring tool to prevent overdoses.

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