Although acetaminophen is one of the safest medicines for treating your child's fever, too much of the drug might cause more pain than it relieves. Overdoses of acetaminophen -- the active ingredient in Children's Tylenol -- have been blamed for kidney and liver damage in children.
In a study at Emory University School of Medicine, researchers asked 100 parents to measure using a teaspoon, syringe, or dropper what they believed was the correct dose of acetaminophen for their children's fevers. Almost 10 percent of the parents tested would have given too much medicine.
Signs that a child has been exposed to too much acetaminophen include nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. The symptoms often resemble the flu. If you think a child has overdosed, take the child to the emergency room immediately. If treated quickly, the child usually won't suffer permanent physical damage.
Dr. Laura Ibsen, a pediatric critical care doctor at Children's Hospital Medical Center of Akron, Ohio, suggests the following tips to prevent an overdose in your child: