Grey’s Anatomy Star Chandra Wilson Joins Leading OTC Medicine Makers to Educate Parents on the Safe Use of Children’s Cough and Cold Medicines

As cough and cold season approaches, new educational materials and PSAs provide important safety information for parents and caregivers

Washington, D.C. (October 28, 2008)—Chandra Wilson, a mother of three and star of ABC’s Emmy Award-winning Grey’s Anatomy, and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) are pleased to unveil today a series of public service announcements (PSAs) on the safe use of children’s over-the-counter (OTC) oral cough and cold medicines. These PSAs provide parents and caregivers with important tips that they should always follow when using OTC oral cough and cold medicines for children.

“As parents, we’re in charge of our children’s health, and as a mother of three, I take this responsibility very seriously,” said Chandra Wilson. “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.” 

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. Research shows that dosing errors and accidental ingestions—not the safety of the ingredients themselves when properly dosed—are the leading causes of rare adverse events in young children. To ensure that parents have the information they need to safely use and store OTC oral cough and cold medicines for children, Chandra Wilson and CHPA have partnered on a series of television, radio and print PSAs that will begin airing nationally in mid-November. 

The PSAs are part of a comprehensive national education program sponsored by CHPA, the trade association representing the leading makers of these medicines. The “Treat with Care” campaign features educational materials, partnerships with leading physician, childcare and retail organizations, and an informational website (www.OTCsafety.org). To date, the program has reached more than 100 million parents and caregivers and will reach even more over the next year. 

“For decades, parents have relied on pediatric OTC cough and cold medicines to relieve their children’s cough and cold symptoms,” said CHPA President Linda A. Suydam. “When used properly, these medicines are safe and effective, and the ‘Treat with Care’ campaign underscores the importance of continuing to use these medicines safely in children.”

Specifically, the “Treat with Care” campaign focuses on educating parents and caregivers as follows:

  • 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 healthcare professional with questions.

For more information on the safe use and safe keeping of pediatric OTC cough and cold medicines, and to learn more about the “Treat with Care” campaign and view Chandra’s new PSAs, please visit www.OTCsafety.org.

CHPA contact: Elizabeth Funderburk, 202.429.9260 or 202.256.5677 (m)


CHPA is the 127-year-old-trade association representing U.S. manufacturers and distributors of over-the-counter medicines and nutritional supplements.