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Reye's syndrome

Reye's syndrome is a life-threatening condition that damages the cells in your child's organs, especially the liver and brain. Giving your child aspirin increases the risk of Reye's syndrome.

Learn more about Reye's syndrome in our health library.

How to treat your child's fever

Acetaminophen

Important

Follow your health care provider's instructions or the directions on the package label.

Keep this medicine out of reach of children.

Brand names of acetaminophen include Liquiprin®, Tempra® and Little Fevers®.

  • Always follow your health care provider's instructions.
  • One dose of acetaminophen should last for four hours. Do not give another dose during those four hours.
  • Do not give your child more than five doses of acetaminophen in 24 hours.
  • Do not give your child more medicine than the amount recommended by your health care provider or listed on the package label.
  • Do not save droppers from old bottles. Only give the dosage with the syringe that comes with the medicine.

Acetaminophen dosage chart

Find your child's weight. Follow the column that matches your child's weight to drops, liquid or chewable tablets.

Weight in pounds

6 to 11

12 to 17

18 to 23

24 to 35

36 to 47

Age

newborn to 2 years

2 to 3 years

4 to 5 years

Dose (milligrams)

40 mg

80 mg

120 mg

160 mg

240 mg

Drops
(80 mg/0.8 mL)

0.4 mL
(1/2 dropper)

0.8 mL
(1 dropper)

1.2 mL
(1 and 1/2 dropper)

1.6 mL
(2 droppers)

2.4 mL
(3 droppers)

Drops
(80 mg/1 mL)

0.5 mL
(1/2 dropper)

1 mL
(1 dropper)

1.5 mL
(1 and 1/2 dropper)

2 mL
(2 droppers)

3 mL
(3 droppers)

Infant suspension
(160 mg/5 mL)

1.25 mL
(1/4 teaspoon)

2.5 mL
(1/2 teaspoon)

3.75 mL
(3/4 teaspoon)

5 mL
(1 teaspoon)

7.5 mL
(1 and 1/2 teaspoon)

Liquid
(160 mg/5 mL)

1.25 mL
(1/4 teaspoon)

2.5 mL
(1/2 teaspoon)

3.75 mL
(3/4 teaspoon)

5 mL
(1 teaspoon)

7.5 mL
(1 and 1/2 teaspoon)

Chewable tablets
(80 mg each)


——


——


——


2 tablets


3 tablets

Ibuprofen

Brand names of ibuprofen include Advil®, Motrin® and Nuprin®. Ibuprofen is also known as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).

  • Always follow your health care provider's instructions.
  • Do not give ibuprofen to a child younger than 6 months old. It is neither recommended nor approved.
  • One dose of ibuprofen should last six to eight hours. Do not give another dose during those six to eight hours.
  • Do not give your child more than four doses of ibuprofen in 24 hours.
  • Do not give your child more medicine than the amount recommended by your health care provider or listed on the package label.
  • Keep this and all medicines out of reach of children.
  • Do not save droppers from old bottles. Only give the dosage with the syringe that comes with the medicine.

Ibuprofen dosage chart

Find your child's weight. Follow the column that matches your child's weight to drops, liquid or chewable tablets.

Weight in pounds

12 to 17

18 to 23

24 to 35

36 to 47

Age

6 to 23 months

2 to 3 years

4 to 5 years

Dose (milligrams)

50 mg

75 mg

100 mg

150 mg

Drops
(50 mg/1.25 mL)

1.25 mL
(2/3 dropper)

1.875 mL
(1 dropper)

2.5 mL
(1 and 1/3 dropper)

3.75 mL
(2 droppers)

Liquid or suspension
(100 mg/5 mL)


——


——

5 mL
(1 teaspoon)

7.5 mL
(1 and 1/2 teaspoon)

Chewable tablets
(50 mg each)


——


——


2 tablets


3 tablets

Aspirin

Do not give your child aspirin or medicines that contain salicylate to treat a viral illness, unless your health care provider gives you directions.

These medicines put your child at risk of developing Reye's syndrome, a life-threatening brain and liver disorder.

Non-medicine treatments

  • Give your child lots of liquids. Do not force her to drink.
  • Dress your child in lightweight clothing. If your child has chills, offer her a blanket. Take off the blanket when your child feels warmer.

What a febrile (fever) seizure means

Important

Call 911 if your child has trouble breathing, or if the seizure lasts more than 15 minutes.

A febrile (fever) seizure is usually harmless. About 6 percent of children between the ages of 6 months and 6 years have a seizure with a rapidly rising fever.

A seizure usually lasts for less than 1 minute but it can last up to 15 minutes or longer.

Your child is possibly having a seizure if:

  • her eyes roll upward
  • her arms are flexed and legs are straight or if there is a rhythmic jerking of arms and legs

What to do if your child has a seizure

  • Turn on the lights.
  • Look at the time.
  • Move your child to a soft surface. Roll your child to her side so any saliva or vomit can drain from her mouth.
  • Do not hold your child. She will thrash around. Make sure there are no objects around your child that could injure her.
  • Do not put anything in your child’s mouth.
  • When the seizure is done, sweep away any saliva or vomit with a napkin or washcloth. Your child may appear to be drowsy after the seizure.
  • Call your health care provider.
  • Call 911 if your child has trouble breathing, or if the seizure lasts more than 15 minutes.

 

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Guide for the Care of Children: Ages Birth to 5 Years Old, fifth edition

To avoid awkward sentences, instead of referring to your child as "he/she" or "him/her," this guide will alternate between "he" or she" and "him" or "her."

First published: 08/15/2007
Last updated: 01/01/2014

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts, including the Pediatric Department of Allina Health Coon Rapids Clinic