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macon.com MIDDAY UPDATE: Drug companies say cold medicines shouldn't be given to kids under 4; woman dies in jump from moving truck in south Ga.; 6 die in family murder-suicide in Los Angeles

Children under 4 should not be given cough and cold medicines, companies that make those products said Tuesday in announcing new guidelines for their use.

The industry has been criticized by pediatricians for marketing over-the-counter cough and cold remedies for children under 6 despite a lack of evidence that they work, and reports of safety problems.

Linda Suydam, president of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, said the companies were voluntarily making the change "out of an abundance of caution." The association represents leading manufacturers and distributors of nonprescription, over-the-counter medicines and nutritional supplements.

The companies will also add a warning to their product labels saying parents should not give young children antihistamines to make them sleepy. Antihistamines are used to relieve allergies.

Government health officials said last week the issue needed additional study.

Associated Press

Woman dies in jump from moving truck in south Ga.

Authorities say a 50-year-old Kansas woman died Saturday after she jumped from a moving truck.

The incident occurred just before 9 a.m.

Albany police said Julie Ann Wright of Circleville was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said Wright apparently opened the door of the 18-wheeler's cab and fell to the road.

Wright, according to authorities, was riding with her boyfriend who was transporting freight to a U.S. Marine base in Albany.

Associated Press

6 die in family murder-suicide in Los Angeles

The only hints of trouble in the big beige house on Como Lane were the newspapers in the driveway and the lack of any activity behind the front door.

But when police summoned by worried friends of the residents got inside Monday, they found a horror - six members of a family fatally shot in a murder-suicide committed by an unemployed father in financial crisis.

The body of 45-year-old Karthik Rajaram, a gun clutched in one hand, was found by officers who followed a trail of carnage through the home in a gated community in the Porter Ranch area of the San Fernando Valley.

His victims, most slain in their beds, were his wife, three sons and his mother-in-law.

"Absolute devastation," Deputy Chief Michel Moore told reporters outside the home.

Investigators quickly found two suicide letters and a will, and determined that Rajaram held a master's degree and once worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers, a major accounting firm, and for Sony Pictures.

But he had been unemployed for several months and his finances had reached a crisis point in recent weeks, Moore said.

Associated Press

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