Tylenol for fever sounds like a quick fix to an uncomfortable problem. But if your kiddo is dealing with a fever, skip the Tylenol.
Tylenol, the brand name for acetaminophen, is a popular pain reliever, and it's contained in many medications. Unfortunately, this is a drug that's proven to be harmful to our health and especially dangerous for children.
The real danger of Tylenol
The results of a six year study in the journal Hepatology point out the real dangers associated with Tylenol use. Researchers found that 42% of 662 cases of acute liver failure in 22 clinical settings were caused by acetaminophen poisoning, and 29% of the individuals suffering from acetaminophen toxicity died.
And according to an article at MedScape.com, an over-reliance on Tylenol and overdosing with acetaminophen causes 56,000 emergency room visits, 26,000 hospitalizations and 458 deaths each year.
Even with the best intentions, mistakes happen. And some of the most common medication errors at home – namely overdosing – involve acetaminophen. This means trips to the hospital and in very rare cases death.
In 2001 the American Academy of Pediatrics noted the potential dangers of Tylenol overdose, including total liver failure.
Since it's available over the counter, people believe Tylenol is “safe.” Taking a few extra can't hurt, right? To make things even more confusing, a variety of medications contain acetaminophen, so it's easy to take more than you're realizing unintentionally.
But even when taken at the “correct” dosage, Tylenol causes changes in liver function in some people. Because of genetics and a unique health history, every child metabolizes drugs a little differently.
Tylenol for kids is unsafe and unnecessary
It turns out Tylenol is even more dangerous to kids than adults, as their livers are smaller.
Unfortunately, pediatricians prescribe Tylenol for fever and other ailments regularly. Plus, children's Tylenol products are for sale at pharmacies everywhere. Yet the risks of giving children Tylenol aren't outlined on packages.
It's incredibly easy for parents to accidentally give their kids too high of a dose…and this happens. Often.
Giving children Tylenol is associated with more than potential liver problems or liver failure.
Children who are given acetaminophen frequently are susceptible to an increase in allergic diseases including asthma, eczema, and seasonal allergies. There's even speculation of an increased risk for developing behavioral and learning disorders like autism when receiving Tylenol after vaccines.
I mean, hop over to drugs.com and take a look at what's in Tylenol for children…besides acetaminophen. Note the high fructose corn syrup (just WHY – hello, liver) and synthetic dyes, which are associated with problems in and of themselves:
anhydrous citric acid, butylparaben, D&C red #33, FD&C blue #1, flavor, glycerin, high fructose corn syrup, microcrystalline cellulose and carboxymethylcellulose sodium, propylene glycol, purified water, sodium benzoate, sorbitol solution, xanthan gum
Parents who choose to rely on Tylenol for their children's pain relief are putting their health at risk unnecessarily.
How to manage a fever
There are safe, effective treatment options for fever and typical childhood aches and pains. Instead reducing a fever and your child's health at risk, consult with a holistic health care practitioner to discuss treatments that stimulate healing.
I also recommend trying lemon socks.
Read more on fevers and pain relief meds in this post: Is Reducing A Fever Always Bad?
Here are some natural remedies for headaches.