How to safely use acetaminophen or ibuprofen tablets by mouth for children

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If your child needs acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fever or pain relief, your health-care provider can help you choose the right product for them.

Download a 2-page PDF of How to safely use acetaminophen or ibuprofen tablets by mouth for children.

Depending on the medication, options may include chewable tablets, non-chewable tablets, powder packs and suppositories.

All product forms (e.g., different strengths of liquid, different strengths of tablets) may be safely used in different age groups. Your health-care provider can advise you on the proper dosing according to your child’s weight.

Your child’s dose may not be exactly equal to a whole tablet. In this case, the tablets can be cut into halves or quarters to make up a dose that is safe for your child according to their weight.

Extended-release tablets should not be cut or crushed. Examples of these include acetaminophen tablets that are given every 8 hours (e.g., Tylenol Arthritis®) or ibuprofen products that are given every 12 hours (e.g., Advil 12-hour®).

Non-chewable tablets come in different strengths. Pay close attention to the strength and use the tables on the next page to find out how much to give to your child.

Acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol®):

Give each dose every 4 to 6 hours as needed, up to a maximum of 5 doses per day.

Weight rangeRegular strength (325 mg) tabletsExtra strength (500 mg) tablets
kglbDoseNumber of tabletsDoseNumber of tablets
Under 6Under 13Use liquidUse liquid
6 to 10.913 to 23.980 mg¼ tablet
One quarter of a tablet
Use liquid
11 to 15.924 to 34.9160 mg½ tablet
One half of a tablet
Use liquid
16 to 21.935 to 47.9240 mg¾ tablet
Three quarters of a tablet
250 mg½ tablet
One half of a tablet
22 to 31.948 to 69.9325 mg1 tablet
One whole tablet
32 to 4870 to 106480 mg1½ tablets
One whole tablet
One half of a tablet
500 mg1 tablet
One whole tablet
Over 48Over 106650 mg2 tablets
One whole tablet
One whole tablet
Follow the manufacturer’s label

Ibuprofen (e.g., Advil® or Motrin®):

Give each dose every 6 to 8 hours as needed, up to a maximum of 4 doses per day.

Weight rangeRegular strength (200 mg) tabletsExtra strength (400 mg) tablets
kglbDoseNumber of tabletsDoseNumber of tablets
Under 5Under 11Use liquidUse liquid
5 to 9.9
11 to 21.950 mg¼ tablet
One quarter of a tablet
Use liquid
10 to 15.922 to 34.9100 mg½ tablet
One half of a tablet
100 mg¼ tablet
One quarter of a tablet
16 to 21.935 to 47.9150 mg¾ tablet
Three quarters of a tablet
22 to 31.948 to 69.9200 mg1 tablet
One whole tablet
200 mg½ tablet
One half of a tablet
32 to 4870 to 106300 mg1½ tablet
One whole tablet
One half of a tablet
300 mg¾ tablet
Three quarters of a tablet
Over 48Over 106400 mg2 tablets
One whole tablet
One whole tablet
400 mg1 tablet
One whole tablet

Using a tablet splitter or crusher

A tablet splitter or crusher may be purchased from your local pharmacy.

Crushing or splitting the tablets does not change the effectiveness of the medicine.

If the tablets are being taken by mouth:

  1. If needed, cut the tablet to make up a dose for your child.
  2. The dose may then be crushed with a pill crusher.
  3. The resulting powder can be mixed with 1 or 2 teaspoons of water, milk, or other soft food (such as applesauce or yogurt) to give to your child.

Overdose information

Keep medications out of your child's sight and reach and locked up in a safe place. If you live in Ontario and your child takes too much medication, call the Ontario Poison Centre at one of these numbers.

  • Call 416-813-5900 if you live in Toronto.
  • Call 1-800-268-9017 if you live somewhere else in Ontario.

If you live outside of Ontario, call your local Poison Information Centre.


Disclaimer: The information in this sheet is accurate at the time of printing. It provides a summary of information and does not contain all possible information about the medications named on the sheet. If you have any questions or want more information, speak to your health-care provider.

Last updated: November 21st 2022