Suffering from an earache

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.

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