Dosing Guidelines and Fever

The charts below contain dosing guidelines for Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen based on age and weight:

  • Dose medications based on the child’s most recent weight.
  • Check medication bottles to ensure you are administering the appropriate dose in milliliters based on concentration for all liquid preparations.
  • Do not treat children with Aspirin as this may result in serious adverse side effects.
  • Temperature of 100.4 or greater in a child 28 days old or less is a medical emergency and requires evaluation in an Emergency Room immediately.

Fever

Fever is defined as a temperature of 100.4 or higher. Fever is not a diagnosis or illness but rather a sign/symptom of illness. Fever is often a good sign that the body is mounting a response to fight infection. However, fever can make children uncomfortable. Fever accompanies many illnesses, most commonly viral infections/colds but can also be associated with bacterial infections or other inflammatory disorders.

Fever of 100.4 or higher in a child 28 days or younger is an emergency and requires evaluation in an emergency room setting as soon as possible. For any child with this situation, we recommend the parent take the patient to the closest pediatric ER, including Children’s Hospital New Orleans, Ochsner Main Campus Pediatric ER or Tulane-Lakeside ER.

When to call the doctor:

  • Fever in a child 4-12 weeks old.
  • Frequent crying in an infant with fever.
  • Fever with no other symptoms for more than 1 day (if under 2 years old).
  • Fever persisting for more than 3 days (if older than 2).
  • Fever along with any other concerning symptoms such as the child appearing very ill, very irritable, appears to be in pain, lethargy (not alert when awake), any other parental concerns.
  • Fever of 105 or greater.
  • If your child has any other immune system problems due to a disease or treatment of a disease.

When to treat a fever

  • As stated previously, fever alone is not an illness and does not necessarily require treatment as it is often beneficial in fighting infection.
  • Fevers need to be treated when they cause discomfort, generally fever >102. The goal of fever treatment is to bring the fever down to a level where the child is not uncomfortable. You can usually expect medication to lower fever by 2-3 degrees.

How to treat a fever without medications.

  • Encourage your child to drink fluids (water, Pedialyte, popsicles, etc)
  • Dress your child lightly in cool clothing.
  • Sponging
    • Place up to 2 inches of warm water (85-90 degrees) in the bathtub and sit your child in the water. Gently wet your child’s skin with a sponge or washcloth and allow to evaporate. If your child resists, just allow the child to sit and play in the water.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) Dosage Chart

Doses can be given every 4 hours as needed

WeightAgeInfant Suspension 160mg/5mlChildren's Suspension 160mg/5mlChildren's Soft Chew Tablet 80mg
Jr Strength Tabs/Caps 160mgRectal Suppositories various doses
6-11 lbs1-3 months1.25 mlN/AN/AN/A1/2-80 mg
12-17 lbs4-11 months2.5 ml2.5 mlN/AN/A1-80 mg
18-23 lbs12-23 months3.75 ml3.75 mlN/AN/A1-120 mg
24-35 lbs2-3 years5 ml5 ml2N/A1/2-325 mg
36-47 lbs4-5 yearsN/A7.5 ml31.52-120 mg
48-59 lbs6-8 yearsN/A10 ml421-325 mg
60-71 lbs9-10 yearsN/A12.5 ml52.51-325mg
72-95 lbs11 yearsN/A15 ml631 1/2-325 mg
> 95 lbs>11 yearsN/AN/AN/A41 -650mg

Ibuprofen Dosing Chart

Doses can be given every 6 hours as needed

WeightAgeInfant Drops 50mg/1.25mlChildren's Suspension 100mg/5mlChewable Tabs 100mg
6-11 lbs1-3 monthsN/AN/AN/A
12-17 lbs4-11 months1.25 mlN/AN/A
18-23 lbs12-23 months1.875 mlN/AN/A
24-35 lbs2-3 years2.5 ml5 ml1
36-47 lbs4-5 yearsN/A7.5 ml1.5
48-59 lbs6-8 yearsN/A10 ml2
60-71 lbs9-10 yearsN/A12.5 ml2.5
72-95 lbs11 yearsN/A15 ml3