WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A Wichita mom says she has searched everywhere trying to find Tylenol for her sick children. She and her husband ended up knocking on doors, asking if anyone had children’s Tylenol to spare.
“We just, we can’t find it anywhere,” Donna, a Wichita mother, said.
Dr. Amy Seery is a pediatrician at Ascension Via Cristi and says there are a lot of concurrent illnesses happening around the country, including RSV, COVID-19 and the flu.
“What we’re having is everyone is hitting the shelves at the exact same time for the same medicines, and a lot of people are probably taking more than they necessarily need, in the moment, causing isolated shortages,” Dr. Seery said.
Amid those shortages, Dr. Seery reminds people that a fever isn’t necessarily the enemy. Our body generates it on purpose to fight infections.
“If you have a child who can comfortably sleep through a fever or sweat it out while cuddling on the couch, leave that fever alone,” Dr. Seery said.
“Considering how high his fever was getting without the medicine, I actually panicked and broke down in tears because I couldn’t find Tylenol for my son,” Donna said.
What can parents do in the meantime?
When it comes to finding the right medicine, begin by looking for it in places you wouldn’t normally think of, such as gas stations, and do not ignore the generic brand because they are just as effective as the name brand.
“So instead of branding Tylenol, look for acetaminophen instead of brand name Motrin or Advil, look for ibuprofen,” Dr. Seery said.
If you have older, school-aged kids, they may be at the age they can start taking pills. You can practice taking pills with mini M&M’s or small candy.
If parents are still unable to locate the medicine, Dr. Seery suggests giving the child a warm bath. Don’t use not hot or cold water because shivering will generate more body heat.
Be wary of common home remedies. According to Dr. Seery, you should avoid herbal remedies because they won’t have the appropriate weight-based dosage, as well as alcohol baths because it can absorb too much into the child’s skin, causing them to get sick(er).
A fever is an on-off switch, Dr. Seery says. A fever is 101 degrees Fahrenheit for someone one and older. For infants one year and younger, the threshold is 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
Dr. Seery says if the fever lasts longer than five days or hits 104.5 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, seek medical care.
For babies three months old or less, fevers are considered an emergency and need immediate evaluation, according to Dr. Seery.
She also says to keep in mind the normal pattern of how our bodies warm and cool throughout the day, with the highest temperatures being in the morning and early evening. For example, if your child is at 99, that’s not a fever. It’s the upper end up normal.
Dr. Seery says if you notice the symptoms worsen or you develop new ones, check with your doctor.