December 6, 2017
Tylenol (also known by its generic name acetaminophen) is a common, over the counter medicine used in children. It is an analgesic used as both a pain reliever and fever reducer. Tylenol can be used to treat conditions like fevers, headaches, muscle aches, and toothaches. Over the years, parents have asked me many questions about the usage of Tylenol and the correct infant Tylenol dosage and children’s Tylenol dosage. I’ve created a Tylenol dosage chart that covers both at the end of this post.
Before reaching for that over-the-counter bottle, here are a few things I always want parents to keep in mind:
1. Tylenol should not be given to infants under the age of 3 months. If you are giving Infants’ Tylenol to a child under the age of 2, consult your pediatric healthcare provider.
2. Tylenol cannot be given more than every 4 hours. I do not recommend alternating ibuprofen or other pain reliever/fever reducers in between doses of Tylenol.
3. Do NOT give more than 5 doses of Tylenol in 24 hours.
4. The generic version of Tylenol is called acetaminophen. Tylenol and acetaminophen are the exact same medications. For this reason, I always advise parents to get whatever option is the most affordable medication, but make sure you are getting the proper infant’s or children’s versions of the medication you choose to use.
5. Many medication products include acetaminophen. Read ingredient labels to make sure you are not doubling up on acetaminophen and exceeding dosage limits by using more than one product containing acetaminophen at the same time.
6. Keep Tylenol and all medication locked and out of reach of children. If you suspect your child has overdosed on a medication, call the American Association of Poison Control Centers immediately at (800) 222-1222.
Most importantly, always contact your pediatric healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have questions about medicine you are giving your child.
Author: Dani Stringer, MSN, CPNP, PMHS – founder of KidNurse and MomNurse Academy