whoopingMothers who rely on over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, such as paracetamol, are more likely to give them to their children, a Danish study has discovered.

The research, published in the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, set out to discover whether a mother’s use of analgesics influences how often their children use them. Researchers interviewed the mothers of 131 children aged between six and 11 and they were asked how often they gave non-prescription drugs to their children in the past three months and in the past year, and how often the children felt pain. They also answered questions about their general health and reliance on medication. 

The study found that 45 per cent of children had been given OTC medicines during the previous three months, while 22 per cent had pain relief at least every other month over the last year. A total of 39 per cent of mums said they took pain relief at least once a month – this group admitted giving their children paracetamol more often during the previous three months.

Researchers concluded that mothers who use OTC pain relief will be far more likely to give such medicine to their children.

Dr Janne Fangel Jensen, who led the research said: “I would like parents to think twice when they treat their child with an analgesic.” She added that many minor ailments, such as coughs, colds and headaches often go away without needing drugs.

You can read an abstract of the original article at  http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2014/01/01/peds.2013-1107.abstract?papetoc