Parents need to be aware of a major change in infant’s and children’s liquid acetaminophen products (such as Tylenol) available on store shelves. Since Summer 2011, some manufacturers have changed the amount of acetaminophen in these medicines to one standard amount. Infant drops, which contain 3 times more medicine than the children’s liquid, will be phased out and no longer available. However during this transition, you may find both concentrations on store shelves and in your home.
Parents need to be aware that the dosing amounts are different depending on the concentration they are using.
Why the change?
The change to one concentration for all children is being done to help reduce dosing errors that can lead to accidental overdoses. Too many times parents have mistaken the strength of the infant drops, which are stronger than the liquids, and accidently given their children too much medicine.
What to do
Always call your pediatrician before giving acetaminophen to a child under 2 years of age, and call right away if your child is under four months of age and has a fever. Be sure when calling that you know which concentration you have, either 80mg/0.8mL (these are the drops which are being discontinued) or 160mg/5mL (children’s liquid). You can find this information on the front of the medicine bottle. Have the bottle with you when you call.
For children over the age of 2 years, check the label to see how much medicine to give. If you know your child's weight, use that. If you do not know your child’s weight, go by age for the dose amount.
- Keep all medicines out of the reach of children
- Use only the dosing device that comes with the product
- Never give adult medicines to children
- Always read and follow the instructions on the label
- Talk to your pediatrician if you have any questions
- If you think your child has taken too much of this or any medicine, call poison control at 800.222.1222