Paracetamol (such as Panadol or Pamol) poisons more New Zealand children than any other substance. Too much paracetamol can seriously hurt or even kill a child, so it’s important to use paracetamol correctly when your child is unwell. If you think your child has taken an overdose of medicine, see a doctor urgently or phone the Poisons Information Centre on 0800 POISON (0800 764 766).

About paracetamol

Paracetamol is for pain. It’s not a sedative to make children go to sleep. Paracetamol comes in different strengths. If you use liquid paracetamol when your child is unwell, keep the following things in mind:

  • Make sure you work out the dose from the instructions on the bottle, so that you give them the right amount.

  • It’s important to give the right dose for your child’s age and weight.

  • Phone your pharmacist, doctor, PlunketLine or Healthline to help you work out the right dose to keep your child safe.

  • Don’t give paracetamol more than four times a day or for more than a couple of days.

  • Always keep it locked away.

  • Remember that paracetamol liquid tastes sweet, and the colour is often appealing. Children can easily think it’s a sweet treat.

Paracetamol can make pain less severe, but doesn’t make the cause of the pain go away. If the pain lasts for more than a few hours, or is severe, or your child is unwell or you are worried, see the doctor to find out what’s causing the pain.

For help and advice call PlunketLine 0800 933 922, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If your child is sick please call Healthline New Zealand's 24-hour telephone health advice service. All calls are answered by registered nurses.
In an emergency phone 111.
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