Controlling your child’s fever

Mercury Thermometer All parents have experienced the scenario of having a child with a fever that seems to linger on and on. My kids can have a high fever for over three days. But even though they are sick they do not need to be miserable. I am a firm believer of using Tylenol and Ibuprofen around the clock until they are fever free. My first child experienced multiple cycles of fever–fever breaks–fever–fever breaks, etc. When the fever would start to come back I would hurry and give Tylenol or Ibuprofen, but it was too late. He was miserable with the chills or he would start vomiting (fevers have this effect on my kids) before the medicine took effect. I soon realized that I was doing it all wrong and that I could time his medicine perfectly to avoid any return of a fever.

Cycling Tylenol and Ibuprofen

Tylenol and Ibuprofen work well together. Since they are made up of different medicines you can safely use them both without overdosing. Tylenol lasts for about 4 hours. Ibuprofen claims to last for up to 8, but for my family it seems to lose its effectiveness within 6 hours. It also seems to work better than Tylenol for reducing fevers. That’s the reason I always start with Ibuprofen. I note the time it is given and then administer Tylenol 5 hours from that time. Then 3 hours later I give Ibuprofen. Then 5 hours later Tylenol. And that is the cycle. This allows the medicine plenty of time to kick in before the other medicine loses effectiveness. I also try to time it so that I am giving Ibuprofen right before I am going to bed so that I can get more sleep:)

Dosing of Tylenol and Ibuprofen

Weight is more reliable than age for dosing of a medication. So as long as you know your child’s weight you can safely figure out the dose of each medication.

  1. First, convert the child’s weight into kilograms. Do this by dividing their weight in pounds by 2.2.
    Weight in lbs/2.2 = Your child’s weight in kilograms(kg)
  2. Second, multiply your child’s weight in kilograms by 10 and that gives you how many milligrams of the medication they can have. You can safely go up to 15, but I always use 10 first.
    Your child’s weight in kilograms(kg) x 10 = mg of medication
  3. Third, check the mg/ml that is on the bottle and give the appropriate number of ml.

I was given this formula by my doctor and it has worked like a charm. Though you can always use the dosing guidelines on the medicine bottle.

By cycling through both medications you are only using Ibuprofen every 8 hours, this being only 3 times in 24 hours. As for Tylenol it is the same as Ibuprofen–every 8 hours. This is in or under the recommended daily amount for each drug therefore being easy for the body to eliminate.

So give it a try and see if your sick kid turns into a happy one.

Of course, before you try any recommendation from us check with your doctor first.

rachelA Mom Knows Contributor

About Rachel

I used to be a nurse, but now I am blessed to stay at home with my three children. While they and my hubby are the bright spots in my life, I also enjoy do it yourself projects, running, shopping (oh how I love to shop), reading, mountain biking, and playing sports with my family.

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