Britain's Food Commission finds most over-the-counter medication for young children contains additives that are banned from food for infants and toddlers.
Many of the additives can cause unpleasant reactions, including asthma, The Telegraph reports.
"When a child is ill parents will reach for one of the many medicines specifically sold for young children," said Ian Tokelove, a co-author of the report. "But how many parents will read through the small print where the ingredients and possible side effects are listed?"
The Food Commission wants a ban on the additives, which include sweeteners, coloring and flavoring. But Dr. Hamish Meldrum, who heads the family practice committee of the British Medical Association, argues that children are unlikely to ingest enough to cause harm.
"In my experience, and with talking to other GPs, adverse reactions to additives in medicines is not something we come across a lot," he said. "Parents should definitely not stop giving their children these medicines without seeking medical advice."
Copyright 2007 by United Press International
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