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Posted on Wed, Feb 16, 2011 : 11:17 a.m.

Parenting links: Parents breaking the rules about cough and cold meds, Facebook, and technology use

By Pam Stout

Here's a roundup of some of the most talked-about parenting stories on the web this week:

Parents continue to give cough and cold meds to young kids despite FDA warnings
While the FDA has warned that over-the-counter-cough and cold products are dangerous and ineffective for children under 2, a University of Michigan study shows that parents — and some doctors — are ignoring that recommendation. The study, led by Dr. Matthew Davis, showed that 61 percent of parents of children under age 2 gave their children OTC cough and cold medicine within the last 12 months, and half or more reported their doctors said the medications were safe or effective. Read the full story here.

How young is too young to facebook?
The Philadelphia ABC news station posted an article that has been a hot topic in many homes lately: what's the appropriate age to open a Facebook account? Officially, a child must be 13 to open an account. Michelle Obama doesn't let her children, Malia (12) and Sasha (9), have one. But a study done in Great Britain three years ago found that 750,000 children in that country who were below the age of 13 had obtained accounts on age-restricted sites like Facebook and Myspace. As a parent of teens and tweens, I can say it certainly feels like same the trend applies here.

Parents, not kids, are biggest abusers of technology
With all this angst about our children and their use of technology, Sherry Turkle, a clinical psychologist and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has found that children are worried that their parents’ love affairs with BlackBerries, iPhones, and computers are fracturing their families. In research for her new book, "Alone Together," kids told Turkle that they are "tired of being pushed on the swing with one hand while [Mom reads] her E-mail on the phone with the other." Read the edited interview with Turkle at US News.

Tell us what you think in the polls below:


Sandy Castle

Wed, Feb 16, 2011 : 5:49 p.m.

Now, my kids are teenagers, but our doctor occasionally advised us to give them OTC cough and cold medicines when they were very young. Maybe the rules have changed since that time. On the Facebook issue. I think 11-12 is an appropriate age IF YOU ARE MONITORING your children's use. When my daughter was that age, we allowed her to have a Facebook page, but I was friends with her, as were her grandmothers. It actually was something that generated alot of conversation about appropriate comments, status', etc. It's a great way to stay in touch with friends, but as a parent I think you have to make sure you are monitoring their use. I am friends with quite a large number of her friends and some of them are definitely not being monitored by the adults in their lives and that's a shame. I believe the same thing about other computer use and cell phone use, as well.