If your baby or toddler has a low-grade fever, you should resist the parental urge to reach for a Tylenol bottle. Young children who are given Tylenol (also known as paracetamol or acetaminophen) have a 50 percent increased risk of developing allergic disease, according to The West Australian.
Children who take Tylenol frequently have triple the risk of developing asthma and nasal allergies and double the risk of developing eczema.
Lead researcher Richard Beasley of the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand says, “This study provides worldwide evidence that the use of paracetamol in childhood can increase the risk of developing asthma and related allergic disorders.”
Beasley says that Tylenol “remains the preferred drug to relieve pain and fever in children” – but it should be reserved for children with a high fever, and it should never be used routinely. Beasley recommends giving Tylenol to children only when they have a fever higher than 101.3 degrees Fahrenheit, or 38.5 degrees Celsius. You should never give aspirin to children.
You can also reduce the risk of asthma in your child by keeping your home clear of common allergens like dust and mold. Air purifiers and HEPA vacuums will eliminate the majority of household allergens. If your child suffers from allergy symptoms or a persistent cough during the night, consider allergy bedding.