June 30, 2019


Five experts answer, is it ok to give children pain killers?

Alexandra Hansen, The Conversation

Children get sick and hurt a lot. Whether it’s playground injuries or cold and fever, we’re frequently wondering if we should reach for the kids’ Panadol.

But pain relief has side effects, and we know as adults we shouldn’t take it too liberally, so what about for our kids?

We asked five experts if it’s OK to give our kids pain killers.


Four out of five experts said yes

Here are their detailed responses:

If you have a “yes or no” health question you’d like posed to Five Experts, email your suggestion to: alexandra.hansen@theconversation.edu.au


The ConversationDisclosures: Greta Palmer has previously received grant support from Cadence Pharmaceuticals for a paracetamol study in neonates.

Alexandra Hansen, Section Editor: Health + Medicine, The Conversation

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Read more:

  • Sometimes you have no choice but to give kids pain medicine. And some of it actually works, so why not use it


  • It’s like any drug – too much isn’t good. I gave my child paracetamol when she had a fever and if it didn’t go away within 24 hours it was straight to the doctors. Can never be too careful!


  • Iboprufen can cause stomach irritation, mainly if insufficient food is eaten at the same time as it is administered. Although not common some people are allergic to it. I know one child who is highly allergic to it and stopped breathing on one occasion, fortunately in a hospital and CPR had to be given. If she is touched by anybody who has taken it 10 – 12 hours before she has a reaction to it. She has balance problems and breathing problems. She has been rushed to hospital on a few occasions. Her parents and others with her have to make sure nobody touches her that has taken it. Most of the time when they go out she wears long sleeved clothing. She knows not to touch people unless she knows it is safe to do so. If somebody speaks to her she immediately steps behind the person she is with. She has done that since she was 3 y.o.. Continuous contact can also effect her brain according to specialists who have seen her


  • I certainly use them but with discretion if they have pain or fever why wouldn’t you use them


  • There are some interesting viewpoints there. Personally I have no issue giving my kids panadol but we do try non pharmaceutical alternatives first where possible.


  • I’ve no problem giving my children Panadol when they have a fever or are uncomfortable because of an infection. My youngest has Down Syndrome and the first couple of years there were many long infections and bronchiolitises, hospital admission and NICU’s. She got more Panadol and Prednison doses then any of my other kids.


  • I rarely had to use any painkillers – feed them well and don’t let them have too many take aways and soft drinks and they don’t seem to get sick if they love playing outdoors.


  • After trying everything else and that temp is still spiking at 39.9 with the dr saying it’s ‘just teething’!!! I’m not about to risk another febrile convulsion so painkillers it is.

    • Agree. When it gets to that point, Im not going to let my child be in pain and will give him panadol


  • My boys were only ever given Panadol if they had pain or fever and if one dose didn’t work then it was straight to the doctors or the hospital. Even now even though my boys are adults, if the tablets don’t make a difference the first time then they see their doctor.


  • Did I miss the reason why one of them said no?


  • If you take the child to a Doctor as recommended by the person who doesn’t recommend painkillers the Doctor will tell you to rest, fluids and painkillers.


  • My son has never had pharmaceuticals but has had Brauer remedies and other homeopathic remedies that worked well. Years ago when these pain killers and fever relief were not available there were many home remedies used. I remember my mum putting warm vinegar soaked socks on my feet to reduce my fever when I was little, must ask her about that and why they knew it worked.


  • Interesting to read why the Pharmacist said no. I think it is important for us to listen to all advice and make up our own informed decision.

    • Because pharmacists study chemicals and know what goes in them. And an honest one would recommend not to use them.


  • Fevers can do real damage if the temp gets high enough, and kids painkillers can bring the fever down, potentially saving their life. I’d rather give them the medicine then wait to take them to a health professional when it might be too late.


  • That pharmacist who says “no” and then says that giving it to a child with a fever needs to shut up. Makes me furious.
    Because I have a child who had a rare disease from birth until 4 years old. Who had monthly extremely high fevers for 3-5 days straight. No, there was no infection. Her body attacked itself for no known reason other than her gene code told it to do so.
    Nurofen and panadol combined kept her fevers down to a manageable level for those days.
    Yes, I agree unnecessarily giving painkillers isn’t necessary, but if a child is in pain, then give them some relief! Adults give themselves pain killers when in pain, why not give children the same relief.
    My daughter is now 2 years fever free, but people who say stuff like this still make me mad. I had to advocate and push for a diagnosis for my daughter because of people like this pharmacist who dismiss things and don’t go on a case by case basis or listen to parents.


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