Tylenol Dosage Calculator for Infants and Children

How to Administer Tylenol to Children
Verywell / JR Bee

Tylenol 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.

Important things to know include that:

  • Tylenol is simply a brand name for acetaminophen
  • 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.
  • Not all Tylenol are the same concentration, so parents need to be careful and pay attention to the one they have bought.
  • Follow the manufacturers warning and call your doctor 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 two 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.

Tylenol Dosage Calculator

In 2011, rules standardized the liquid concentration of Tylenol at 160 mg per 5 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 six 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 doctor for the right dose."

Hopefully, your 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.

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

Keep in mind that you usually shouldn't give infants under 12 weeks Tylenol without consulting your pediatrician (pain or fever at this age should be investigated quickly), should not give doses more frequently than every 4 to 6 hours, and should not give more than 5 doses a day.

Although 5 ml is equal to one teaspoon, you should never use a kitchen teaspoon to give your child any medicine. It is simply not an accurate way to give your child medicine.

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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  3. Pan SD, Zhu LL, Chen M, Xia P, Zhou Q. Weight-based dosing in medication use: what should we knowPatient Prefer Adherence. 2016;10:549-560. doi:10.2147/PPA.S103156

  4. James L, Sullivan JE, Roberts D. The proper use of acetaminophenPaediatr Child Health. 2011;16(9):544-547. doi:10.1093/pch/16.9.544

  5. American Academy of Pediatrics. Acetaminophen Dosage Table for Fever and Pain. Updated April 20, 2017.

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