When Should I Give a Child Tylenol for Fever?

Last Editorial Review: 1/11/2018

Ask the experts

How long should you let a fever go without Tylenol (acetaminophen)? I thought it was better for the child's immune system to let their body do what it's designed to do; fight the infection. When it gets to 102 degrees, I have to give some Tylenol for comfort. I have found that if you give Tylenol the minute they have fever, you mask the symptoms. The child feels better and wants to get up and play, rather than rest. I want to know as much as I can before I get to the doctor's office with the child about what is going. So, if it's a holiday and you can't get to the doctor, am I doing the right thing?

Doctor's response

You're on target as far as I am concerned. The purpose of any antifever medication is to allow the patient to feel better. The fever is a natural response and only needs to be treated for comfort (which is not a trivial reason).

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