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Giving your child painkillers safely

Children's pain relief

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When your child is ill, most of you will probably wish you could take on your child’s illness yourself. Seeing your little one sick and upset is never nice and while we can’t magic it all away, we can ensure that we give our children the correct painkillers safely and effectively.

Does your child need painkillers?

Children are very resilient to illness and in most cases, some quiet time and lots of cuddles can be the best answer and help your child develop immunities to serve them better in the future. But in cases when your child is in pain or has a high fever, you can given them paracetamol and ibuprofen to help ease their symptoms, making sure your follow the instructions on the bottle.

Check the dose for your child’s age

Paracetamol can be given to children over 2 months old and the correct dosage can help reduce fever and relief pain. You don’t want to give your child any more than the recommended dose as this can be dangerous, so check with the pharmacist or read the instruction label carefully. Ibuprofen can also be given to a child who weighs more than 5kg (11lbs) and are 3 months or older, although if your child suffers from Asthma, Ibuprofen should be avoid unless your GP has said it is safe to administer.

children and painkillers

Both paracetamol and ibuprofen are available in tablet and liquid form and paracetamol is also available as a dispersible tablet. The age of your child depends on how you wish to administer the medicine, but as a general rule, it is easier and safer to give young children and babies a liquid solution. If your child isn’t particularly happy about taking their spoonful of medicine, you can also try using a syringe, putting the medication in their usual bottle or there are even some clever dummy designs which can administer medicine while the child thinks they are sucking on a regular dummy. They may be unsure what you are giving them and become agitated, so remain calm and soothing at all times and try and find an option of administering the medicine which has less stress on your child.


If you child has an illness or infection which requires antibiotics, you will be expected to administer the medication prescribed, at home and by yourself. Check with your GP what the dosage and regularity should be and always ensure your child finished their prescribed course of antibiotics.

Beware of aspirin

You should never give aspirin to a child under 16 unless your doctor has specifically prescribed it. Even though extremely rare, it has been linked with a dangerous illness called Reye’s Syndrome. All medications should be stored safely and away from children to avoid temptation of little inquisitive hands.

If for any reason you are unsure about dosage or what medicine is best for your child, consult your pharmacist or GP and if symptoms persist or become worse, contact your GP as soon as possible. Always ensure to check for symptoms of dangerous conditions such as meningitis and remember that when your child’s health and safety are concerned, it is better to waver on the side of caution and seek professional medical advice if you are concerned about any aspect regarding illness or medication.




About Rebecca Robinson

About Rebecca Robinson

After spending the last 8 years juggling life as a mum of two, wife and working full time as a Project Manager for a global telecommunications company, Rebecca Robinson made the decision to follow her love of writing and took the plunge; turning her passion into a full time career. Since becoming a full time writer, Rebecca has worked with various media and copy-writing companies and with the ability to make any topic relevant and interesting to the reader, now contributes to The Working Parent on articles ranging from credit cards to teenage relationships. Ever the optimist, Rebecca's dreams for the future include a house in the country filled with children, dogs and horses in the field!

Website: Rebecca Robinson

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