How many times have you heard of parents giving allergy medicine to their kids to calm them or get them to sleep?
Research shows as many as one in five parents has given children medicine containing diphenhydramine before a “big event” like a long trip.
That could have deadly consequences.
The GBI is sharing a warning from the Georgia Child Fatality Review Panel about the dangers of acute intoxication from diphenhydramine, a key ingredient of medicines such as Benadryl, PediaCare Children’s Allergy, Allergy Relief, Compoz Nighttime Sleep Aid, Diphedryl, Sominex, Nytol QuickCaps and Unisom Sleepgels Maximum Strength.
Misusing the medication can cause rapid heart rate, confusion, hallucinations, convulsions and death, the news release stated.
Since 2015, four infants have died in Georgia due to toxic effects of diphenhydramine.
The Georgia Poison Control Center received 940 reports of acute diphenhydramine intoxication in children age 5 and under since 2013.
Dosing errors are often to blame.
“The difference between a tablespoon instead of a teaspoon can mean life or death for an infant,” the release stated.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration advises that no cough or cold product with a decongestant or antihistamine should ever be given to children younger than 2 years old due to the serious and possibly life-threatening side effects.
Ask a doctor or pediatrician about choosing the best medicine for your child or consult the Georgia Poison Center.
Immediately call the Poison Control hotline at 800-222-1222 if you think you have given a child the wrong dose of medicine.