Over the years, paracetamol has been one of the most used drugs on children. Most parents tend to administer it to their children, with or without a doctor’s prescription. Is this act right? Is it wrong? Check here!
This article doesn’t aim at castigating parents, rather it aims at giving parents an insight into what paracetamol is and its uses, the right dosages to administer and possible side effects.
What is paracetamol for children?
Paracetamol is a form of safe medication that can be administered to babies and children. Paracetamol is like the most popular go to drug of parents when they notice any form of discomfort in their children.
This drug is given to children either at the early stage of an illness when doctors aren’t reachable or to relieve children from any form of pain. The pains may include; toothaches, sore throat and headache.
Paracetamol for children may not be used to treat mild fever, unless it persist which in most cases, is advisable to consult a doctor.
When does my child need paracetamol?
- Paracetamol can be given to children experiencing pains
- In cases where fever is discomfiting and temperature is over 38.5oc
- Paracetamol shouldn’t be given to children before, or immediately after administering any kind of vaccination. However, in cases where the child is experiencing severe pain and appears to be uneasy, paracetamol can be given. Nonetheless, it is still advisable to seek the help of a doctor to be on the safe side.
- Babies that are less than two month old should not be given paracetamol unless prescribed by the doctor.
Note that giving paracetamol in the wrong dosage might not cause any harm but it can reduce the drug’s activity. After giving paracetamol to a child, it is advisable that the child is put to rest. The child is expected to feel better after 30minutes to an hour after taking the drugs. See the doctor if symptoms persist. For more details, visit: https://www.nmnationalcouncil.org/diarrhea-complications-side-effects-for-patients-families/
What are the forms in which paracetamol can be given?
Paracetamol are available in three different forms, namely;
- Tablets/capsules/pills- to be taken orally. Usually small and easily swallowed with or without water or any other suitable fluid. Tablets are produced in strengths, usually 500mg.
- Liquids/syrups- this form of paracetamol is available in two strengths. The lower strength is 120mg in a 5ml bottle, while the higher strength is 250mg in 5ml.
- Suppository: this might be the most uncomfortable form of paracetamol as it is taken through the anus. Just make sure to follow instructions on the packet before administering.
What is the right dosage to give children and how often?
- Paracetamol for children must be taken in lower dosages than adults. For tablets, depending on the strength, follow the prescription of the pharmacist.
- For the liquid form, syrup should be given according to age. Infant syrup is of strength 120mg in 5ml and is for children between ages 2months to 6years.
Paracetamol for children can be given four times in 24hours at four hours interval. Remember that if pain or fever persist, the child should be taken to the hospital for better treatment.