The dose of pain medication (acetaminophen or ibuprofen) is based solely on a child’s weight, not his or her age.
So we recommend ignoring the age categories on the dosing sheets, unless you have no idea how much your child weighs and don’t have a scale in the house.
If you only have an adult scale available, weigh yourself with and without your child to approximate his or her weight. For the appropriate dosage charts, look at the medicine bottle, the insert in the box.
For young children, you also need to be aware that there are two forms of liquid acetaminophen and ibuprofen: infant drops and children’s suspension. The infant drops are more concentrated so that less volume of medicine needs to be given to little babies.
However, if you are giving infant drops but mistakenly choose the volume from the children’s suspension column of the table, you will give your baby an overdose.
Overdoses of both acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be very serious, so be extra careful when managing liquid medicine for children.