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Safe Pain Relief for Children

Drugs work differently in children than they do in adults. Take extra care when giving your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen and only use those products labeled specifically for your child’s age group. Adult medicines and doses are too strong for most kids and should not be given to children.

Beyond not giving aspirin to children and teens (ages 18 and under) due to the risk of Reye's syndrome, follow these safety measures:

  • The FDA recommends that parents not give any cough and cold medicine to children under age 2. The FDA supports the voluntary label change of drug makers to state “do not use in children under 4” for OTC cough and cold medicines.
  • Talk to your pediatrician about safe OTC options for your child.
  • When giving your child liquid medicine, make sure to use the appropriate measuring tool that came with the medication and not a spoon used for eating or cooking.
  • There’s no need to expose your child to drugs he doesn’t need. Select a medicine that treats only the symptoms your child has.
  • Keep all medicine out of children’s reach.

Acetaminophen or an NSAID: Which Is Best?

For some people, acetaminophen is the best way to reduce certain cold and flu symptoms. For others, ibuprofen does the trick. For many, both are equally effective.

How do you know which to take? Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the other medicines you are taking and your medical history, such as problems with your heart, kidneys, stomach, or liver, or if you take anti-clotting medication or medication for high blood pressure.

Choosing an OTC Pain Reliever

What you need to know to make a safe and effective choice.
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Pain Relief Poll

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