Do you know the right dose of fever medication for your child?

summer vacation gaspesie july 2011 521This morning my sweet little girl crawled into our bed and woke me up to snuggle with me. Then she tried to take the blankets off everybody because SHE was to hot.  I protested because I was so comfortable the way I was. Then I realise she seemed not well and I felt her skin. Bad surprise, she was

burning hot!

So here I was switching into worried-mom mode. Looking for the thermometer and the Tylenol. I gave her the medication and covered her only with the sheet and a wet face-washer on her forehead.

Now I know more about fever medication than I used to. I also know exactly how much of it to give my daughter because; I’ve learned it the hard way.

Let’s say that the fever last more than a day and comes back every 4 hours. It would mean that 6 doses is needed for a 24 hour period. As you probably know on the Tylenol bottle it says not to exceed 5 doses per 24 hours . Here is how I learned how to overcome that.

Last year my daughter had a long high fever that I was not able to control with the medication. We ended up at the hospital and have been told that if needed it was safe to alternate Acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tempra) and the Ibuprofen(Advil, Motrin) every 4 hours.

So after I was back from hospital I did some research on the internet to back up what the doctor said. I was also wondering why the dosage on the bottle was not more accurate. I already knew that we have to go with the weight to calculate the dosage but the huge range of weight for the same dose did not make much sense to me. So I discovered that on the bottle it was pretty much under-dosed. It is probably why I was not able to keep my daughter’s fever under control.

Now that I know the proper dosage per pound for Acetaminophen (tool to calculate Tylenol) and for Ibuprofen, I just have to know the weight and do a little calculation (it’s much more accurate than a chart with weight range). With the right amount I can trust that it is going to bring the fever down and make my child feel better.

I always calculate the dosage myself and verify with a good chart(not the one on the bottle) to make sure it is about the same. If there is to much of a difference I would recalculate because mistakes happens. I keep a note  with the medication showing how to calculate it. When you find out that your child has fever in the middle of the night, trust me, mathematics will seem kind of complicated.

Using a syringe to measure the dose will give you a better accuracy. It also helps to keep track of the time , the amount and the kind of  medication given so when you have to give your child some more  (tired and half-asleep)you don’t make any mistakes.

To be safe, you should verify these information’s (including the link’s) with your Paediatrician. I hope it helps you as much as it helped me.

A mom at home

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