Medication for Treating a Fever in Children Under 5 Years Old

Although children’s body temperature varies normally with age and activity, generally a normal temperature is 100F rectally or lower and 99F orally or lower. Fever is not an illness and is a good sign that the body is responding properly to an infection. What you treat is your child being uncomfortable and his rising need for fluids.

For children between 6 months and 5 years of age, fever may trigger a seizure called a febrile convulsion. They usually last less than a minute but may last up to fifteen minutes with the child becoming stiff or twitching with his eyes rolling. These febrile convulsions are nearly always harmless even if alarming.

Medications are on the market over the counter to relieve symptoms by blocking the mechanisms that cause a fever. These medications are called antipyretics and include aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen. Aspirin, however, should never be given for a child’s fever due to its association with Reye Syndrome. Both acetaminophen and ibuprofen should be given in doses that relate to their weight instead of their age only. If the child has a cold that accompanies the fever be sure not to “double dose”, most cold remedies have acetaminophen in it.

Tepid water bathes are good to reduce a fever, just remember that adding alcohol into the water does more harm than good. It can cool too quickly, or absorb into the skin. These things can cause serious problems in your child such as a coma. Sponging him or her down for 30-45 minutes in plain water will generally do the trick.

Fever Medication Dosage Charts

Acetaminophen
(every 4 hrs, maximum of 5 times in 24 hours)

Age 0-3 months
Weight 6-11 lbs
Drops 0.4 ml
Elixir NO
Chewable Tablets NO

Age 4-11 months
Weight 12-17 lbs
Drops 0.8 ml
Elixir 1/2 teaspoon
Chewable Tablets 1 tablet

Age 1-2 years
Weight 18-23 lbs
Drops 1.2 ml
Elixir 3/4 teaspoon
Chewable Tablets 1 1/2 tablets

Age 2-3 years
Weight 24-35 lbs
Drops 1.6 ml
Elixir 1 teaspoon
Chewable Tablets 2 tablets

Age 4-5 years
Weight 36-47 lbs
Drops 2.4 ml
Elixir 1 1/2 teaspoon
Chewable Tablets 3 tablets

Ibuprofen
(every 6-8 hours, maximum of 4 times in 24 hours)

Age 6-11 months
Weight 12-17 lbs
Drops 1 dropper
Elixir NO
Chewable Tablets NO

Age 1-2 years
Weight 18-23 lbs
Drops 1 1/2 droppers
Elixir NO
Chewable Tablets NO

Age 2-3 years
Weight 24-35 lbs
Drops 2 droppers
Elixir 1 teaspoon
Chewable Tablets NO

Age 4-5 years
Weight 36-47 lbs
Drops NO
Elixir 1 1/2 teaspoon
Chewable Tablets 3 tablets

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


+ six = 11