Pharmacy Corner
Fever in Children: Sorting Facts From Myths How do I give fever medications? continued

Should I use my child’s weight or age to find the right dose?

Always use weight if possible. Using age is not as accurate for estimating the correct dose since dosing by age assumes that your child is at an average weight for his or her age group. If a child is above or below the average weight of his or her age group, you could end up giving too high or too low a dose.2

How often should I give acetaminophen or ibuprofen?

  1. Give a dose acetaminophen or ibuprofen only as often as recommended
    • Wait at least 4 hours after giving acetaminophen to give a second dose
    • Wait at least 6 hours after giving ibuprofen to give a second dose
  2. Do not give more than the maximum number of doses that can be taken in a day
    • Give a dose of acetaminophen no more than 5 times in a day
    • Give a dose of ibuprofen no more than 4 times in a day
  3. Only give acetaminophen or ibuprofen IF NEEDED
    • If your child is sleeping, do not wake him or her up to give medication2
    • Stop giving these medications if the child’s bothersome symptoms go away

Dosing of acetaminophen and ibuprofen2,18,19 (+)


Caution

Caution!

Always double check the directions by looking on the label of the specific product you would like to use or by asking your pharmacist.


MYTH

MYTH: Kitchen spoons are accurate measuring utensils.

Do NOT use kitchen spoons. They are not measuring tools and will either give your child too much or too little medication. Use the medicine syringe or cup included with the medication to measure out the exact amount of medication to give. Ask your pharmacist to give you a measuring syringe or cup if you don’t already have one.

Kitchen spoon

Dose cup and syringe

Tip

Tip!

Give ibuprofen with food or a glass of milk to prevent it from upsetting your child’s stomach.