Since aspirin may cause Reyes' syndrome, a deadly condition, Tylenol is often the choice of parents seeking to bring down a child's fever. However, bleary-eyed as parents may be when looking in the medicine cabinet, you must choose the correct medication for your child as Children's Tylenol and Infant's Tylenol are significantly different. Confusing the two may cause serious health issues for your child.
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Infant's Tylenol comes only in liquid form, with a dropper that should be used to accurately measure the dosage and dispense the medication. Children's Tylenol also comes in liquid form, with a cup to measure and dispense the medication. Children's Tylenol is also available in a tablet that, when placed on your child's tongue, melts to dispense the medication.
The potential for confusion arises if you have both infant and children's Tylenol in the medicine cabinet in liquid form. The packaging is nearly identical, the only difference is that one is labeled as "Children's Tylenol" and the other "Concentrated Tylenol." Concentrated Tylenol is appropriate for children aged 2 and younger. It is highly concentrated.
Infant's Tylenol, labeled as Concentrated Tylenol, contains 160 mg of acetaminophen in 1.6 mL. Droppers are typically 0.8 mL. Children's Tylenol contains 160 mg of acetaminophen in 5 mL, or 1 tsp. If you inadvertently give your child a teaspoon of Infant's Tylenol, you could be overdosing your child.
Mistakenly giving your child the dosage amount out of the Infant's Tylenol bottle rather than the more dilute Children's Tylenol can be deadly. The overdose can cause liver damage by causing toxic buildup in the liver when the liver is exposed to too much acetaminophen.
About 10 percent of overdose is accidental, states Medicinenet. To avoid any potential overdose, move any medications far from your children's reach. In addition, if your child is ill, post a dosage chart on the medicine cabinet to avoid having your caregiver or spouse give your child a dose of Tylenol just after you have also given the medication. Last, keep Children's Tylenol separate from Infant's Tylenol. Either buy different flavors to avoid packaging confusion or buy Children's Tylenol in tablet form to avoid confusion between the two liquids.