Treats: Fever; aches and pains
Is acetaminophen safe? While cold and cough medications are now off-limits, all three pediatricians still recommend Tylenol—or the generic store version of acetaminophen—to comfort babies who are running a fever. (Why? Acetaminophen is a single active ingredient; the recalled medicines had many.) Acetaminophen also helps relieve the usual aches and pains associated with colds, congestion, and flu.
How to use it: Don't just rely on label directions: Ask your pediatrician about the proper amount of acetaminophen to give your child—dosages are based on a child's age and size. Precisely measure the dosage using the medicine dropper or cup that came with the medication. Also find out from your child's pediatrician the correct number of dosages to administer in a 24-hour period. Don't deviate from this schedule: Accidental overdoses may occur if you decide to give your baby the medication every two hours instead of every four to six.
Keep in mind: "It's normal for a fever to accompany a cold virus. Fever simply shows that the body is fighting off infection," says Dr. Bernstein. While fever in itself is usually not dangerous, the experts stress that if your child keeps getting fevers more than 103 degrees for more than three days, it would be prudent to take him to the pediatrician to be sure there are no bacterial complications. "It could still just be the cold virus, but it is better not to go more than three days with such a high fever without seeing a doctor," Dr. Sears advises.