Paracetamol - what if my child has too much?

Paracetamol - what if my child has too much?

Too much paracetamol is one of the most common causes of poisoning in under 5 year olds. Ring the Poisons Centre if you are worried that your child may have swallowed too much of their own medicine, or has swallowed someone else's medicine. 

Key points to remember

  • too much paracetamol is one of the most common causes of poisoning in under 5 year olds  
  • too much paracetamol can damage your child’s liver
  • if your child has had too much, call your doctor, nurse or the Poisons Centre 0800 POISON (0800 764 766) immediately
  • signs of overdose may include feeling sick (nausea), vomiting, diarrhoea, yellow skin or eyes, poor appetite, confusion or extreme sleepiness

Where should I keep paracetamol?

  • keep it in a high place out of reach and out of sight of children
  • store it in a locked or latched cupboard
  • the most common cause of poisoning is by children helping themselves
  • it doesn't need to be chilled so don't keep it in the fridge
  • it should have a child-resistant cap - ask your pharmacist 

This page last reviewed 26 April 2017.
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