You asked

When can I give my child aspirin, or medicine that contains aspirin?

Many of us took aspirin as children, and when we hear that aspirin is dangerous for children, we wonder how true that is. However, doctors are now advising that parents don’t give any child under 19 years old any medications that contain aspirin.

The reason for this is that aspirin has been linked to a potentially fatal disease called Reye’s Syndrome. Although the aspirin itself does not cause the disease, over 90 percent of children who have got Reye’s Syndrome in the US have used aspirin before they contracted the disease. The link between aspirin and Reye’s Syndrome is still unknown, but it’s believed that children who take aspirin to treat fever, or those who have a viral illness are at higher risk.

Since the incidence of Reye’s Syndrome dropped rapidly in America since families have been advised to only give children ibuprofen or paracetamol, it’s definitely worth bearing in mind. Both of these medications are safe for children, and effective in treating pain and fever, so there’s really no need to give any child aspirin.

The only time you should ever give a child aspirin is when it’s been specifically prescribed by your doctor.

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