Parents of children who have allergies that are severe enough to require medication need to be aware of something that is causing a controversy. There are packages of Chewable Children’s Claritin that are decorated with images from the most recent “Madagascar” movie. This can make children think that the medicine is actually food or candy.
It is entirely possible for children to have allergies. If you notice that your child has a frequent case of the sniffles, this could be a sign that your child has allergies. The best way to find out is to take your child to a doctor to be evaluated for allergies. The doctor can determine if your child really does have an allergy, and how severe it is.
There are certain types of allergy medications that are designed to be safe for children to use. One of them is a Grape-Flavored Chewable Children’s Claritin allergy medicine, made by Merck. Right now, this particular brand and type of allergy medication has a promotion going on with the “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” movie. This is causing controversy.
The “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” movie, which is made by DreamWorks, has been doing a very heavy series of advertisements. They have put images of the cartoon characters from the movies on everything from children’s shampoos, to tofu. Dole put stickers advertising this movie onto 100 million bananas. Apparently, there are some monkeys in the movie who are pilots, who use a banana cannon.
The Public Health Advocacy Institute and ten other organizations are upset about the promotional campaign for the “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” movie in regards to it’s connection to the Grape-Flavored Chewable Children’s Claritin allergy medicine. The groups want the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to do an investigation on this promotion.
There are two concerns. One is that since the movie advertisements appear on things like bananas, tofu, and other food products, that it could make children think that the Chewable Children’s Claritin is actually a candy. No one wants to risk having children accidentally eat the medication and poison themselves.
The other concern has to do with marketing directly to children. The Grape-Flavored Chewable Children’s Claritin has “Madagascar 3” themed packaging. It has free stickers inside, a movie-ticket voucher promotion (in connection with Walgreens drug stores), and provides information about downloadable games that connect Children’s Claritin to the “Madagascar 3” movie.
The Public Health Advocacy Institute feels that this promotion is marketing the medication directly to children, which isn’t a very safe idea. Combine that with the potential for children to mistake a package that has cartoon characters on it, and that contains chewable, grape flavored, pills in it, as a type of candy, and you have the potential for disaster. This is something for parents of children who use Claritin need to be aware of.
Image by ella novak on Flickr