Tylenol Dosage Calculator for Infants and Children

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Giving Tylenol to Kids

A medicine cabinet full of medicines for kids.
A medicine cabinet full of medicines for kids. Photo by Vincent Iannelli, MD

Tylenol is a popular over-the-counter medicine that is frequently given to kids of all ages when they have pain or fever.

Just because it is over-the-counter doesn't mean that it doesn't have risks.

Every parent should get educated about Tylenol so that you don't misuse this common medicine.

Important things to know include that:

  • Tylenol is simply a brand name for acetaminophen
  • when giving liquid acetaminophen products, always use the measuring tool that was included, keeping in mind that kitchen teaspoons are not an accurate dosing tool
  • be sure to shake the bottle well before dispensing your child's dose.
  • always double check the medication, the dose, and that you have measured correctly before giving Tylenol or any other medication to your child
  • do not use Tylenol with any other medicine that contains acetaminophen, otherwise you will be doubling up on the same ingredient and will likely overdose your child
  • follow the manufacturers warning and call your doctor if your child's 'pain gets worse or lasts for more than 5 days' or his 'fever gets worse or lasts for more than 3 days'.
  • you need to learn how to find or calculate the dosage of Tylenol for infants and toddlers who are under 24 pounds, as the drug labels only lists dosages for older kids who weigh at least 24 pounds and are two years old

And call Poison Control if you have given too much Tylenol or have given a dose too soon. Remember that more is not better when it comes to taking medicines like Tylenol, so don't give more than the recommended dosage for your child's age and weight and don't give it more often than recommended.

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Tylenol Dosage Calculator

A Child with a Fever
What dose of Tylenol does your child with a fever need?. Photo by Melis Kameel

New rules that standardized the liquid concentration of Tylenol at 160mg/5ml helped avoid some of the confusion around giving Tylenol to kids. You know longer had to figure out different doses for infants, who might be using concentrated drops, and older children using the less concentrated syrup.

Drug companies haven't adopted all of the recommendations that experts have proposed. For example, many people wanted dosing instructions for infants as young as age six months on the Tylenol label. Instead, these labels, even for the Infant's Tylenol Suspension Liquid, still say that "If your child is under 2 years of age, be sure to ask your doctor for the right dose."

Hopefully, your pediatrician has advised you of the right dose when you go in for a check-up, so you don't have to panic in the middle of the night when you need to give your child the right dose of Tylenol.

If necessary, to calculate your child's dose of Tylenol, you can:

  1. measure your child's weight in pounds
  2. look at the weight based Tylenol dosages below
  3. use the syringe or dosing cup that came with your medication and measure out your child's dose

For example, when using Children's Tylenol Suspension Liquid, which has a concentration of 160mg/5ml:

  • 6 to 11 pounds = 1.25ml or 40mg
  • 12 to 17 pounds = 2.5ml or 80mg
  • 18 to 23 pounds = 3.75ml or 120mg
  • 24 to 35 pounds = 5ml or 160mg
  • 36 to 47 pounds = 7.5ml or 240mg
  • 48 to 59 pounds = 10ml or 320mg
  • 60 to 71 pounds = 12.5ml or 400mg
  • 72 to 95 pounds = 15ml or 480mg
  • over 96 pounds = 20ml or 640mg

Keep in mind that you usually shouldn't give infants under 12 weeks Tylenol without consulting your pediatrician (pain for fever at this age should be investigated quickly), should not give doses more frequently than every 4 to 6 hours, and should not give more than 5 doses a day.

Although 5ml is equal to one teaspoon, you should never use a kitchen teaspoon to give your child any medicine. It is simply not an accurate way to give your child medicine.

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Other Forms of Tylenol for Kids

Young girl being given medication
Don't use a kitchen teaspoon to give your kids medicine. Photo by Peter Cade/Getty Images

In addition to Tylenol Suspension Liquid for infants and children, other forms of Tylenol include:

  • Children's Tylenol Meltaways Chewable Tablets - 80mg per tablet
  • JR Tylenol Meltaways Chewable Tablets - 160mg per tablet
  • Adult 325mg tablets (if your child can swallow pills)
  • Adult 500mg tablets

Since your child likely won't take these before he is two years old, the dose for them will be on the label.

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