What to do if you can’t find OTC pain relievers for kids?

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December 20, 2022 — Your local pharmacy is again out of over-the-counter pain relievers for children. But before thoughts of runny noses, sleepless nights, and feverish kids threaten your vacation plans, dear parents, you have a few other options.

While there is no official shortage of Tylenol for children in the U.S., according to Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health, the product’s maker, it’s been an “extremely challenging cold and flu season,” and demand for these products has just exploded, it says company says in a statement.

“We’re doing everything we can to ensure people have access to the products they need, including maximizing our manufacturing capacity, operating our sites 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and shipping products continuously,” it said in the statement.

Motrin for kids has also been hard to find in stores this holiday season. This can be attributed to the “surge in pediatric cases of respiratory diseases including influenza, COVID and RSV,” says Consumer Healthcare Products Association spokesman Logan Tucker.

“Parents may need to make a few stops to find what they need and should also consider an additional self-care alternative for added convenience and ease with the director of their healthcare provider,” says Tucker.

Parents should avoid the urge to stock up on child painkillers, which can further fuel supply-and-demand wars at stores, Tucker says. CVS and Walgreens pharmacies both recently announced caps on the number of children’s pain relievers you can buy in their stores.

CVS has a two-product limit on all children’s pain relievers, both in stores and online, and Walgreens has a maximum of six over-the-counter children’s pain relievers for online purchases. Supermarket chain Kroger also has a two-product limit on buying painkillers for children.

Discover your possibilities

Don’t be afraid to try the generic versions of paracetamol (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin), says Joseph Perno, MD, an emergency room physician and vice president of medical affairs at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.

“Most stores have their own versions of these drugs,” he says. “Families may also find other wording, such as B. chewable or rectal suppositories.”

Remember the basics

If your child is feeling ill, always keep in mind standard best practices for treating illnesses, such as: B. drinking a lot of liquids.

“If they’re not eating, Pedialyte or sports drinks work really well during the illness to keep them hydrated.”

If your child sleeps more than usual, that can also be normal. Just make sure they wake up often enough to keep sipping their liquid.

When to seek further medical help

“If your child has a fever for 3 to 5 days, it’s worth getting them checked out by your doctor,” says Perno.

Altered mental status and breathing problems, such as shortness of breath or rapid breathing, or changes in skin color can be signs of something more serious. Signs of dehydration, like not crying when crying, dry mouth, or your child not going to the bathroom as often as usual, also fall into this camp. If your child experiences any of these symptoms, they should be taken to an emergency room, Perno says.


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What to do if you can’t find OTC pain relievers for kids?
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