Even one of the safer medications for children might have worrying side-effects –

Paracetamol is in many painkilling products designed for children and are given for coughs, colds and fever.

Manufacturers of products like Calpol and Benilyn are currently updating packaging where necessary after the British medicines regulator advised that children under the age of six are not given over-the-counter cough and cold remedies because of a lack of evidence that they work and concerns over side effects.

A new study conducted in New Zealand has now found that young children given paracetamol may be at greater risk of asthma and allergies.

Julian Crane, a professor at Otago University in Wellington and author of the report, said: “The problem is that paracetamol is given quite liberally to young children.

“There’s a lot of evidence suggesting that something is going on here. It’s not completely clear-cut, that’s the problem.”

The research, published the journal Clinical and Experimental Allergy tracked almost 1500 children as part of the New Zealand Asthma and Allergy Cohort Study.

Prof Crane said: “The major finding is that children who used paracetamol before the age of 15 months (90 per cent) were more than three times as likely to become sensitised to allergens and twice as likely to develop symptoms of asthma at six years old than children not using paracetamol.

Click Giving children paracetamol linked to asthma – Telegraph to read the full article.