Acetaminophen and small children: Why dose matters

An acetaminophen overdose is critical — and it can come about a lot easier than you may imagine. Here’s how to safeguard your little one.

By Mayo Clinic Personnel

Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) has very long been a conventional remedy for fever and agony in small children. It can be powerful and available with out a prescription. But, in surplus, it can be dangerous. Here’s what you need to have to know about acetaminophen overdoses and small children.

What may induce an acetaminophen overdose?

An acetaminophen overdose can come about in the blink of an eye. Take into consideration these scenarios:

  • You’re in a hurry. You may unknowingly give your little one also significantly acetaminophen if you misinterpret the guidelines, really don’t cautiously measure the medication, give two doses also shut alongside one another — or if you really don’t understand that another caregiver has now given your little one a dose.
  • You combine drugs. If your little one has various cold signs, your intuition may be to combine acetaminophen with an around-the-counter remedy. If the remedy contains acetaminophen, this can final result in a dangerously higher dose. Also, cough and cold medicines need to be avoided in small children younger than age 6 due to maybe critical facet outcomes.
  • You use the wrong formulation. You may induce an overdose if you give your little one adult acetaminophen as an alternative of a kid’s formulation.
  • You choose that a lot more is better. If you might be not happy with the efficiency of the advised dose of acetaminophen, you may improve the dose or its frequency and induce an accidental overdose.
  • Your little one problems the medication for candy or juice. Overdoses usually come about when a little one problems acetaminophen for a little something safe to try to eat or drink. This can come about when an adult leaves the bottle open up or available after applying medication.

What are the advised acetaminophen doses?

If you give your little one acetaminophen, go through the merchandise label cautiously to identify the right dose based mostly on your child’s current fat. Frequently, doses can be recurring every single 4 hours, but should not be given a lot more than 5 situations in 24 hours.

What takes place if the acetaminophen dose is also significantly?

Way too significantly acetaminophen can induce stomach irritation in hours and liver damage in a number of times.

If you might be involved about a achievable acetaminophen overdose or recognize early signs or signs of an overdose — nausea, vomiting, lethargy and ideal upper abdominal agony in 24 hours — get in touch with Poison Support at 800-222-1222 in the United States or find emergency treatment. If achievable, be aware the toughness or focus of acetaminophen in the merchandise to assistance poison handle or the emergency responders evaluate your little one. If you find health-related assistance, acquire the medication bottle with you.

In the healthcare facility, a little one with an acetaminophen overdose will have a blood take a look at to identify if the focus in his or her blood is harmful. If needed, an antidote may be given to reverse the outcomes of the acetaminophen.

How can an acetaminophen overdose be prevented?

Prior to you give your little one acetaminophen, take into consideration whether or not he or she desires it. For case in point, the principal intention of dealing with a little one who has a fever is to strengthen his or her comfort — not to normalize his or her human body temperature. In addition:

  • Know your child’s current fat. Follow the directions and fat-based mostly dose tips printed on medication labels.
  • Use the measuring device that arrives with your child’s medication. You should not use house teaspoons — which can differ in measurement — to measure liquid acetaminophen.
  • You should not give your little one acetaminophen when he or she is getting other drugs that contains acetaminophen.
  • You should not give your little one adult formulations of acetaminophen.
  • Securely swap little one-resistant caps after applying medication and shop all medication in its unique container out of your child’s attain.

Very careful use of acetaminophen and prompt procedure in scenario of an overdose can assistance protect against a tragedy.