How much Tylenol a person can give a child and how often will depend on their size, weight, and age.

The producers of Tylenol state that children should not receive more than five doses within 24 hours. However, the American Association of Pediatricians advises that a child should not receive more than four doses per 24 hours.

The manufacturers of Tylenol also recommend consulting a pediatrician before giving this drug to children under 24 months or weighing less than 24 pounds (lb).

The active ingredient, acetaminophen, also comes in a generic form. A generic contains an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication.

Tylenol can harm the liver, and the difference between a safe dose and a potentially dangerous one is relatively small.

Follow the instructions on labels and a doctor’s advice carefully. If the first dose does not work, do not give a child more Tylenol.

Also, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends waiting until an infant is 6 months or older before giving them nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin).

Tylenol may be a safe alternative to these drugs in younger infants, but it is important to check first with a healthcare professional.

Below, we investigate how much Tylenol is safe for infants and older children. We also describe the drug’s uses and side effects.

A woman administering an oral medication to a young childShare on Pinterest
filadendron/Getty Images

The right dosage of this medication depends on the formulation. Infants’ Tylenol and Children’s Tylenol come in the same strength: 160 milligrams (mg) per 5 milliliters (ml).

However, other medications, such as Motrin, come in different concentrations, so it is essential to read all dosing charts and labels carefully before any administration.

The AAP suggests the following dosages of acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, for infants and children by age and weight. We list their weight in pounds (lb) and kilograms (kg).

First, the APP notes it is essential that:

  • Children and infants must not have more than four doses in 24 hours.
  • They must not have any other medication that contains acetaminophen at the same time.
  • Various forms of acetaminophen are available, and not all are safe for each age group. Check first with a pharmacist or doctor.

For children aged 3 years and under, the AAP recommends:

Weight6–11 lb
(3–5 kg)
12–17 lb
(5–7 kg)
18–23 lb
(8-10 kg)
24–35 lb
(11–15 kg)
Age0–3 months4–11 months12–23 months2–3 years
Infants’ acetaminophen (160 mg/5 ml)1.25 ml2.5 ml3.75 mlnot recommended
Children’s acetaminophen (160 mg/5 ml)not recommendednot recommendednot recommended5 ml

For children aged 4 years and over, the AAP recommends these dosages:

Weight36–47 lb (16–21 kg)48–59 lb (22–26 kg)60–71 lb (27–32 kg)72–95 lb (33–43 kg)96 lb and above (from 44 kg)
Age4–5 years6–8 years9–10 years11 years12 years and over
Children’s acetaminophen (160 mg/5 ml)7.5 ml10 ml12.5 ml15 ml20 ml
Children’s acetaminophen chewable tablets (160 mg)1.5 tablets2 tablets2.5 tablets3 tablets4 tablets
Children’s acetaminophen dissolvable packs (160 mg) Not suitable2 packs2 packs3 packsNot suitable
Adult acetaminophen tablets (325 mg)Not suitable1 tablet1 tablet1.5 tablets2 tablets
Adult acetaminophen tablets (500 mg)Not suitableNot suitableNot suitable1 tablet1 tablet

A discontinued form of Tylenol comes in a formula of 80 mg per 0.8 ml. Manufacturers no longer sell this, and it is too old to use, so dispose of it safely and replace it.

Below are some strategies to ensure that an infant gets the right dosage:

  • Before administering a dose, have more than one responsible adult verify the correct dosage on labeling, then verify that this amount is in the syringe.
  • Make a note of each dose and the time the baby had it.
  • Weigh the baby before giving the medication.

If weighing the baby is not possible, base the dosage on their last known weight. It is not safe to assume that they have moved into the next weight range.

In babies who are at least 3 months old, Tylenol can safely reduce various symptoms, including:

  • a fever
  • pain, including teething pain
  • muscle aches
  • chills
  • pain-related nursing difficulties

Tylenol does not treat or cure the illnesses that cause these symptoms; it only eases them.

The drug cannot cure a tooth infection, ear infection, or any other illness. It is crucial to treat the underlying issue, rather than relying only on Tylenol.

Doctors do not fully understand how the drug works, though it may block chemicals that help the body produce pain signals.

Infants’ Tylenol is usually safe in these situations:

  • for reducing a fever
  • for temporary relief of minor aches and pains due to conditions such as the common cold, the flu, a headache, a sore throat, or a toothache
  • in doses measured according to the infant’s weight and age
  • after checking with a healthcare professional about when, how, and how much to administer, then following these guidelines carefully

However, there are some possible side effects and other risks. The next section looks at these in more detail.

Some potential side effects of Tylenol include:

  • a headache
  • nausea and vomiting
  • bruising
  • bleeding
  • trouble urinating

If a baby has any of these side effects, immediately contact a doctor.

Tylenol is generally safe if people use it correctly. However, there are other risks, such as:

Allergic reactions

Any drug can cause an allergic reaction, and these can range from very mild to life threatening.

If a baby develops a rash, itchy skin, or other symptoms while taking Tylenol, contact a healthcare professional immediately.

If an infant develops red spots or any other type of rash while taking Tylenol, stop giving them the drug and contact a doctor right away.

If the baby has trouble breathing or the rash spreads quickly, call 911 or otherwise seek emergency medical care.


It can be easier to overdose on Tylenol than on some other drugs.

People should never give or take more than the recommended dosage. Also, it is important not to use Tylenol for longer than necessary.

Taking too much Tylenol can cause serious and even fatal liver damage. It is crucial to never take Tylenol and another drug that contains acetaminophen.

Call a doctor immediately if a baby develops side effects of Tylenol, including:

  • nausea or vomiting
  • trouble urinating
  • unusual bruising

Also, consult a doctor if:

  • Tylenol does not ease a fever or relieve pain.
  • Any symptoms have not improved within a few days.
  • An infant younger than 3 months shows fever, or any signs of illness.

Call 911 or go to an emergency room if a baby:

  • develops a widespread rash after taking Tylenol
  • has trouble breathing after taking the drug
  • takes significantly more than the recommended dosage
  • has a yellow or green tinge to their skin or the whites of their eyes

Tylenol can relieve some symptoms of common illnesses, including pain and a fever.

It is usually safe to use Tylenol with prescription drugs as long as these do not contain acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol. Taking Tylenol may make a baby more comfortable while the prescription medication treats the underlying issue.

If a person has any questions about using Infants’ Tylenol, they should contact a healthcare professional. Never give a baby or older child more than the recommended dosage, and always keep medications out of the reach of children.