Should Your Child Use Baby Acetaminophen Or Ibuprofen For Fevers?

Once upon a time, there weren't many choices for parents when choosing medication for their children for a common cold. These days, however, nearly every major brand has released medication for kids, and it can be difficult to know which one is best for your child. If your child has a fever that you're trying to bring down, here's an exploration of whether child Tylenol or Advil is better for the task.

Fever Control

You'll be glad to know that both of these products are quite good at bringing down fevers and helping to control them. If you have either one already, you should always ask a doctor first, but either one will help to bring down your child's fever. The real question that remains is whether or not the medication suits your child's other symptoms and personal needs.


In one such example, consider your child's other symptoms. Do they have problems like a stuffed-up nose or bodily stiffness or pain like one gets with the flu? If so, you should definitely talk to a doctor, as your child could be developing a serious illness that needs care. However, while you're waiting to see them, you may be better off looking to a child's dose of ibuprofen.

Ibuprofen is particularly effective at reducing inflammation in the body. While it's not a nasal decongestant, it can help to reduce pressure headaches that can come with a stuffed-up nose, and it's better for body aches, too.

Stomach Status

Finally, consider whether or not your child can eat or has eaten recently. It's better to take any medication after food unless directed otherwise, as the food not only helps to cushion the stomach but also helps improve absorption of certain medications and vitamins.

If your child doesn't have an appetite or hasn't eaten recently, you should choose acetaminophen. Ibuprofen can be dangerous for the stomach without food. While rare and usually due to repeated use, it can potentially cause ulcers or other damage to the stomach lining. This is also true of aspirin, but not acetaminophen, so stick with it if your child won't eat.

With this simple guide, you can decide for yourself which one of the two medications will do a better job of handling your child's fever without upsetting their stomach or treating a symptom they don't have. Make sure to contact a doctor or family medical care center to have your child seen to ensure that their cold isn't something serious.