Be careful about giving over-the-counter medicines to children. Not all over-the-counter medicines are recommended for children of certain ages.
- Pain relievers:
- Children younger than 6 months: only give acetaminophen.
- Children 6 months or older: it is OK to give acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
- Never give aspirin to children because it can cause Reye?s syndrome, a rare but very serious illness that harms the liver and brain.
- Cough and cold medicines:
- Children younger than 4 years old: do not use unless a doctor specifically tells you to. Use of over-the-counter cough and cold medicines in young children can result in serious and potentially life-threatening side effects.
- Children 4 years or older: discuss with your child?s doctor if over-the-counter cough and cold medicines are safe to give to your child for temporary symptom relief.
Be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist about the right dosage of over-the-counter medicines for your child?s age and size. Also, tell your child?s doctor and pharmacist about all prescription and over-the-counter medicines they are taking.