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Is Paracetamol Safe for Kids?

While paracetamol serves as a widely used and effective pain reliever and fever-reducing medicine for children, parents must be educated on the proper dosage and timing to avoid potential risks associated with incorrect use. 

Paracetamol is a widely used pain reliever, commonly prescribed for headache, fever, earache, stomachache, and cold symptoms. Paracetamol for children is available in tablet form or as a syrup like P 250 syrup. Despite its popularity, there are risks associated with incorrect dosing or timing of paracetamol administration in children. Therefore, parents must receive proper education on its safe and appropriate use.

Paracetamol for Children: Dosage and Strength

Paracetamol tablets and syrups are available in various strengths, with children requiring lower doses compared to adults, based on their age and sometimes weight.

1. Paracetamol Syrup

For kids under six years old, the junior syrup contains 120 mg of paracetamol per 5 ml dose. On the other hand, children aged six years and older can use the six plus (6+) syrup, such as Paracetamol 250 Syrup, which provides 250 mg of paracetamol per 5 ml dose. Here is the ideal dosage of paracetamol syrups for children, aligning with their developmental needs and ensuring safe and effective use.

Ideal Dosage of Junior Syrup (120 mg/5 ml)
3-5 months2.5 mlMaximum of 4 times in 24 hours
6-23 months5 mlMaximum of 4 times in 24 hours
2-3 years7.5 mlMaximum of 4 times in 24 hours
4-5 years10 mlMaximum of 4 times in 24 hours
Ideal Dosage of Six Plus Syrup (250 mg/5 ml)
6-7 years5 mlMaximum of 4 times in 24 hours
7-9 years7.5 mlMaximum of 4 times in 24 hours
10-11 years10 mlMaximum of 4 times in 24 hours

2. Paracetamol Tablets

Tablets are typically available in strengths of 250 mg and 500 mg. Below is the recommended dosage of these tablets for children, determined by their age.

6-7 years250 mgMaximum of 3 times in 24 hours
7-9 years375 mgMaximum of 3 times in 24 hours
10-11 years500 mgMaximum of 3 times in 24 hours
12-15 years750 mgMaximum of 3 times in 24 hours
16-17 years1 gMaximum of 3 times in 24 hours

How to Give Paracetamol to Children?

Paracetamol can be administered with or without food. Here’s how to give paracetamol to children, whether as syrup or tablets:

1. Paracetamol Syrup

Shake the bottle thoroughly for at least 10 seconds and measure the correct dose using the plastic syringe or spoon provided with the medicine. Avoid using a kitchen teaspoon as it may not measure accurately. If your child dislikes the taste, then you may offer him/her fruit juice or milk immediately after giving the syrup.

2. Paracetamol Tablet

Tablets should be swallowed whole with milk, water, or juice. In case the tablet is soluble (dissolvable), drop it into a glass of water and stir until completely dissolved. Ensure your child drinks the entire water mixture to receive the full dose of paracetamol. Advise your child not to chew the tablet to maintain its effectiveness.

How Often to Give Paracetamol to Children?

Here are the guidelines for administering paracetamol to children:

  • Do not exceed four doses of paracetamol within 24 hours. It can be given every four to six hours as needed. Refer to the leaflet provided with the medicine for specific instructions.
  • If your child is experiencing pain, then you can administer paracetamol every six hours for up to three days to alleviate discomfort safely. Contact your doctor immediately if you are concerned about your child’s pain level.
  • Never continue giving paracetamol for more than three days without consulting a doctor.
  • If your child has a high temperature or intermittent pain, then administer paracetamol at the onset of symptoms. Wait at least four to six hours before administering another dose. Do not exceed four doses in 24 hours.

While paracetamol is generally safe when taken in the correct dose, overdose can lead to serious consequences such as liver damage, kidney damage, liver failure, and even life-threatening situations. If you suspect that your child has ingested too much Paracetamol 250 Syrup accidentally, seek medical assistance immediately. Additionally, it’s important to note that while paracetamol can alleviate symptoms and make your child feel better, it does not address the underlying cause of their illness. It does not affect the course, severity, or outcome of the underlying condition. If your child remains unwell, experiences moderate to severe pain persisting for more than a few hours, or requires paracetamol for over 48 hours, then it is advisable to consult a doctor promptly.

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