Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) is a go-to remedy for fever and pain, but it’s important to make sure that your baby is getting a safe dose. Too much of the over-the-counter (OTC) drug can cause nausea, liver damage, and even death. Here’s what you need to know:

  • If your baby is less than 3 months old: Do NOT give any acetaminophen before calling your provider. At this age, a fever of 100.4°F or higher is considered an emergency—you’ll need to get baby checked out right away, in case it’s something serious.
  • If your baby is 6 months old or older: Follow the directions on the package, which give a dosage based on age and weight.
  • If your child is on other medication: Check the label of the other medication before giving a dose of acetaminophen—you don’t want to give more than the recommended dose by mistake.
  • Always use the dosing syringe: You may have taken medicine by teaspoon as a child, but the plastic dropper that comes with the medication is much more accurate.
  • Age limit: Do not use acetaminophen under 12 weeks of age unless directed by your doctor.
  • Combination products: Avoid multi-ingredient products in children under 6 years of age.
  • Dosage: Figure out by finding child’s weight (in pounds) in the top row of the dosage table.
  • Measuring the dosage (in metric units):  Dosing syringes are more accurate than household utensils. Use the syringe or device that comes with the medication. If one does not come with the medication, ask the pharmacist for a medicine syringe. Household spoons are not reliable.
  • Frequency: Repeat every 4-6 hours as needed. Don’t give more than 5 times a day.

LEARN MORE ABOUT MEDICINE SAFETY has great resources on how to safely administer medicine to children. Click the button below to learn more.