Children's Pain and Fever

If you have any questions surrounding your medicine (including dosage, type, recommendations, etc.) or non-medicine solutions, you should always ask a pharmacist at your local pharmacy or ask a medSask pharmacist.

Medicines for Pain and Fever

Acetaminophen (Tylenol®, Tempra®, generics) and ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®, generics) are medicines that work on pain and fever.  Do not give acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin®, ASA) to children.

There may be different medicine or non-medicine solutions to manage your child’s symptoms. Talk to a pharmacist about what strategies and solutions would work best for you and if you're unsure about the dose. 

CHECK THE DOSE. The amount of medicine you give (e.g., 5 mls or 1 tablet) is figured out using your child’s weight and the strength of the product you are giving. Always read the label on the medicine.

Non-medicine Alternatives

There may be other solutions for managing a child's symptoms. The following resources provide more exhaustive lists for medicine and non-medicine solutions to manage common conditions like fever, colds, and influenza. 

Caring for Kids: This website has pages dedicated to providing caregivers with information about common conditions and how to manage them.

Alberta Health Services Health Education and Learning: this website covers symptoms and treatment of conditions including fever, common cold, influenza, and ear pain. The site also provides printable handouts. The information is available in 4 languages.

Using Adult Strength Tablets

Using medicines that are made for the age of your child is preferred. If you are unable to find these products, you can think about giving adult strength tablets or caplets (capsule shaped tablet) if available. You may need to adjust the dose based on the weight of your child.


Oak Valley Health has charts to help you find the correct amount of adult strength tablets or caplets to give your child (see below). Use your child’s body weight to find out how much of an adult strength product you can give safely. It is important to pay attention to the strength of the product you have on hand.

When giving adult strength medicine, be aware of the following:

  • Do not use products that are “extended release” such as Tylenol Arthritis.
  • Use a pill splitter to help split tablets and caplets.
    • Pill splitters can be purchased in pharmacies.
    • Pill splitters help divide tablets and caplets into equal pieces and help prevent cuts and injuries.
    • Specially coated products such as Tylenol eZ tablets might be harder to split.
  • Always talk to a pharmacist, doctor, or nurse practitioner if you are unsure about giving medicine.

Some children cannot swallow tablets and caplets, to make this easier:

  • Crush the amount to give between two spoons (or with a pill crusher).
  • Mix in small amounts (teaspoon or tablespoon) of soft foods (i.e., peanut butter, pudding, apple sauce).
  • Offer your child something that they like to drink or eat after giving the dose to help get rid of the taste.

Oak Valley Health Charts

Questions for a Pharmacist?

Your local pharmacist can let you about the options that are available to you and answer questions. Stop by your local pharmacy or give them a call.

You can also contact medSask, a free medication information service run by licensed pharmacists. Contact us below.

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