Learning About Acetaminophen Doses for Children


Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) reduces fever and pain. Children need special amounts of this medicine. Your doctor may call these pediatric doses.

You can find this medicine in many forms. Your child can chew it or drink it. It can also be given as a suppository. This is a small capsule you put in your child's rectum. It may be a good choice when your child can't keep anything in his or her stomach.

Make sure to use the right amount of this medicine. The correct dose depends your child's size and weight.


Examples include:

    • Children's Tylenol.
    • Infants' Tylenol Drops.
    • Junior Strength Tylenol Fastmelts.

What to know about this medicine

  • Do not use this medicine if your child is allergic to it.
  • Follow all instructions on the label.
  • Talk to your doctor before you give your child the medicine if:
    • Your baby is younger than 3 months and has a fever. Your doctor will make sure that the fever is not a sign of a serious problem.
    • Your child has kidney or liver disease.
  • Call your doctor if you think your child is having a problem with his or her medicine.
  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist before you give your child any other medicines. This includes over-the-counter medicines. Make sure your doctor knows all of the medicines, vitamins, herbal products, and supplements your child takes. Taking some medicines together can cause problems.

How much to give (dosage): Give acetaminophen every 4 hours as needed. Do not give more than 5 doses in a 24-hour period. Dosages are based on the child's weight.

Caution: Make sure you understand what amount of medicine in millilitres (mL) to measure for your child’s dose. Speak to a pharmacist if you need help. A common concentration for use in babies is the Infants’ Tylenol which contains acetaminophen 80 mg in each 1 mL of medicine. For older children you may use the Children’s Tylenol liquid; this has less acetaminophen in each 1 mL of medicine. Children’s Tylenol contains 160 mg acetaminophen in 5 mL of medicine; it works out to 32 mg acetaminophen in 1 mL.

Note: If your doctor prescribes this medicine, use the dosage on the prescription. Do not use these.

If your child weighs (in kilograms):

  • Less than 5.5 kilograms (kg), ask your doctor.
  • 5.5–7.9 kg, give 80 mg.
  • 8–10.9 kg, give 120 mg.
  • 11–15.9 kg, give 160 mg.
  • 16–21.9 kg, give 240 mg.
  • 22–26.9 kg, give 320 mg.
  • 27–31.9 kg, give 400 mg.
  • 32–43.9 kg, give 480 mg.

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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