An image of Chandra Wilson.

OTC Cough and Cold Ads Feature 'Grey's Anatomy' Star

Chandra Wilson, who stars in ABC's Emmy Award-winning "Grey's Anatomy" medical TV show, has joined the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) to create a series of public service announcements on the safe use of children's over-the-counter oral cough and cold medicines. These PSAs are intended to provide parents and caregivers with important tips they should follow when using such medicines.

"As parents, we're in charge of our children's health, and as a mother of three, I take this responsibility very seriously," Wilson said. "Many of us rely on OTC cough and cold medicines to help our children feel better when they're sick. It is our job as parents to understand how to safely do so, and I am excited to be working on such an important effort promoting the safe and appropriate use of these medicines."

CHPA, a trade association representing the leading makers of these medicines, says OTC oral cough and cold medicines for children are safe and effective when used as directed, but like all medicines, they can have real risks if used or stored incorrectly. To ensure parents have the information they need on safe use and storage, the ads will run nationwide on television, radio, and in print in mid-November. The ads are part of a comprehensive national education program sponsored by CHPA.

The "Treat with Care" campaign features educational materials; partnerships with leading physician, child care, and retail organizations; and an informational Web site (www.OTCsafety.org). To date, CHPA estimates the program has reached more than 100 million parents and caregivers and will reach even more during the next year.

The campaign urges parents and caregivers to:

  • Always follow the label exactly and use the measuring device that comes with the medicine,
  • Do not give a medicine only intended for adults to a child,
  • Do not use two medicines at the same time that contain the same ingredients,
  • Prevent unsupervised ingestions by keeping all medicines out of the reach and sight of children,
  • Do not use antihistamine products to make a child sleepy, and
  • Consult a physician or health care professional with questions.

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