As adults, when we experience minor pain, such as a headache or sore joints, we’re usually confident enough to choose the treatment that we trust is right for our pain. But when it comes to choosing pain relief for our children, research would suggest that more than half of us prefer to seek expert advice.
If you’re unsure about painkillers for your little ones, the NHS states that paracetamol and ibuprofen are both safe and effective medicines to help reduce fever and high temperatures for babies and children. However, ibuprofen should be avoided if the child is asthmatic. Never give aspirin to children under the age of 16 unless it has otherwise been prescribed by a healthcare professional.
Our pharmacists suggest that you think about the points below before giving pain relief medicines to your children.
Keep medicines out of reach from children
Read patient information and only take as prescribed
Look out for side effects
Check the expiry date before giving medication to your child
Ask a Pharmacist for help if you are unsure on what to give to your child
Things to consider
Avoid asprin unless prescribed
Only give ibuprofen powder to children aged 12+
Paracetamol = 2 months and above
Ibuprofen = 3 months and above 5kg
Liquid/soluble capsules or dispersible tablets for older children
Always follow the advice as prescribed by the GP or pharmacist, or as detailed on the label. Be mindful and take note of the dose, strength and how often you give the medicine to your child, overdosing can be extremely dangerous.
Paracetamol should only be given to children over the age of 2 months old and ibuprofen, only over 3 months of age and above 5kg. There are liquid and soluble forms of ibuprofen and paracetamol available, although you must not give ibuprofen powder to children under 12 years.
Older children can take capsules or dispersible when you feel confident that they are able to swallow them correctly, with supervision and as recommended by the manufacturer.
Remember to keep all medicines out of reach from your children to keep them safe. Don’t use out-of-date medicines; always check the date to be sure. If your child shows signs of side effects such as rash, sickness or diarrhoea, stop using the medicine immediately and speak to your pharmacist or GP. You could also make a note in your Personal Child’s Health Record (PCHR or red book).
When your child is in pain, you’ll want to do all you can to help them. Cuddles go a long way, but when you’re in need of something extra, Calpol® Sixplus™ Suspension, available in bottles and sachets, has been specially designed for children over six years old. It’s tough on pain, but gentle on tummies.