Question: How Much Acetaminophen Can I Give My Five-Year-Old When He/She Complains Of Pain?

Answer: Too much acetaminophen can cause liver damage. And so you really want to be very careful about prescribing just the right amount, and looking at the bottle, or the liquid bottle, or the bottle of chewable Tylenol to make sure that your child is getting exactly the right amount. The rule of thumb is seven milligrams of the Tylenol, the acetaminophen -- per pound. So for example, if your child weighs 22 pounds, that would be 22 times seven -- or 154 milligrams. A typical five cc, a teaspoon dose of the liquid Tylenol, is 160 milligrams, which is just right about right, doesn't have to be perfect.

So read the label on the bottle, and make sure that your child is getting the right amount per weight of your child, even more important than age because children can be different sizes at the same age. And don't give too much. And the rule of thumb is you can give that amount every four hours, and typically not more than five doses in a 24-hour period.

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