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

What dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen should I give?

Cold syrop spoon

To find the BEST dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen for your child:

  1. Get your child’s weight or age:
    • Find your child’s weight. Age can be used instead if you can’t measure your child’s weight.
  2. Check the acetaminophen or ibuprofen dosing chart:
    • Look on the label of the specific product you would like to use OR check the charts below
    • Find the right dose for your child’s weight or age and specific product
      AND/OR…
  3. Ask the pharmacist to help you calculate the correct dose.
Caution

Caution!

  • The Canadian Pediatric Society recommends that you do NOT treat fever in children 6 months and under without talking to your doctor first.

  • Follow the directions on the label of the specific product you would like to use or give as directed by the doctor. If your doctor’s directions are different from those on the product’s label, follow the doctor’s directions instead.


Acetaminophen dosing by weight, age, and formulation18 (+)


Ibuprofen dosing by weight, age, and formulation19,20 (+)


Did you know?

Did you know?

One half of parents give the wrong dose of fever medications to their children.1,2


Caution

Caution: Teaspoons and Tablespoons

Pay attention to the difference between teaspoons (tsp = 5 ml) and tablespoons (tbsp = 15 ml). Accidentally giving one tablespoon instead of one teaspoon triples the recommended dose!


Caution

Caution: Drops are NOT Suspensions!

Drops and suspensions are NOT equivalent! The same volume of drops and of suspension contains different doses of the medication. Talk to your pharmacist if you would like to switch between drops and a suspension and ALWAYS double check the label.