Saturday, March 07, 2009

Internet Hoax leads to scare!

When Andrea Hodges' 3-year-old nephew Zander got sick, she gave him over the counter medicine.

But a few days later, she said she received an e-mail that would terrify any loved one.

"As I was scrolling down here, I saw that there was bleeding in the brain," said Hodges.

According to the message, Triaminic brand cough syrup, the brand Hodges gave Zander, contained an ingredient that could cause seizures and strokes in kids under the age of four. Hodges said she called the 1-800 number on the back of the bottle, and the person on the phone told her to stop giving Zander the medicine.

This is where the story takes a complicated twist: the e-mail had nothing to do with the reason the Triaminic representative wanted Hodges to stop giving Zander the syrup. The e-mail is an urban legend that's been going around the Internet for nearly 10 years. And the ingredient that supposedly causes seizures is not even listed in the ingredients on the Triaminic label.

Here's why the company told her to stop medicating Zander. Late last year, children's cold and cough drug companies decided to voluntarily re-label their products to say the medications shouldn't be given to children under the age of four.

Andrea Hodges said she's done with over-the-counter remedies and said from now on she's sticking with tender loving care, the cure she knows will always get her busy boy back on his feet.

Here are some tips for medicating your kids:

  • Never give adult medicine to kids.
  • Never give two or more medicines with the same ingredients at the same time and never give a child antihistamine to make them sleepy.

If you have any questions, talk to your doctor. Most say a few days of rest and lots of fluids will usually take care of most colds.

According to the Triaminic website the re-labeling process takes time. So it's likely there are still bottles left on store shelves, like Andrea Hodges found, that include a dosage for kids under four. But the company says kids under four should not use their products.


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