When my kid hurts, how do I know if I should offer pain medication?
Deciding when to give your child pain medicine is a bit of a judgment call. I don’t want to see my kids in pain, and they don’t want to be in pain. If they complain, I give them ibuprofen (10 milligrams per kilogram every six hours) or acetaminophen (15 milligrams per kilogram every four hours). I personally prefer ibuprofen—it works longer, and because it’s anti-inflammatory, it can better alleviate certain types of pain related to inflammation, like headaches, abdominal pain and muscle aches or injuries.
But parents and kids should avoid using painkillers daily, as it’s best to get to the root of the problem. Also, this can lead to rebound pain, like headaches. If your child’s pain persists for a day or two, or is so severe that these medications don’t help, it’s time to see a doctor.