Tylenol Dosage Calculator for Infants and Children

How to Administer Tylenol to Children
Verywell / JR Bee

Tylenol (acetaminophen) 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.

Precautions for Giving a Child Tylenol

Important precautions include:

  • You usually shouldn't give infants under 12 weeks Tylenol without consulting your healthcare provider or pediatrician (pain or fever at this age should be investigated quickly).
  • Do not give children doses more frequently than every 4 to 6 hours, and do not give more than five doses a day.
  • 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 manufacturer's warning and call your healthcare provider 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 label only lists dosages for older kids who weigh at least 24 pounds and are 2 years old.

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.

Dosage Standardized

In 2011, rules standardized the liquid concentration of Tylenol at 160 milligrams (mg) per 5 milliliters (ml), which helps avoid some of the confusion around giving Tylenol to kids. You no 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 6 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 healthcare provider for the right dose."

Hopefully, your healthcare provider or 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.

Tylenol Dosage Calculator

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 160 mg per 5 ml:

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

Other Forms of Tylenol for Kids

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

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

Since your child likely won't take these before he is 2 years old, the dose for your child will be on the label.

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Article Sources
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