Question: I've Heard That Children Should Never Take Aspirin. Is That True?

Answer: Aspirin is not a common pain reliever for children. In the 1970s, aspirin was associated with a very rare but a potentially life-threatening condition called Reye's syndrome. Since that time, other medications that work by similar mechanisms have been developed that have much fewer side effects, and for certain types of pain are more effective, such as ibuprofen and naproxen. Aspirin today is reserved for children for which we may want to make the platelets in the blood just a little less sticky, or perhaps certain types of childhood arthritis for which other medications may not work nearly as well as aspirin.

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