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A while ago I wrote a post about Calpol and why I don’t like it and don’t use it. Since then, I have been asked numerous times what the alternative is. If your child has a fever or febrile convulsions, what should you do? Surely a few e-numbers are a small price to pay?

*Disclaimer: Before I go further, I must stress that we live in a funny old world, where trying to help can get you into trouble. Although I stand by what I’m about to share and am confident in its use and effectiveness, I must remind you that I am not a doctor, I have not attended medical school and I am not distributing medical advice. I am simply sharing what I know, what I do, and what I believe is a suitable alternative. It is up to you to determine what is best for you and your family.

As I said in the Calpol article, a big problem in the UK is that we do not seem to have an alternative for treating children. In fact, a pharmacist told me not to use adult paracetamol on my baby, as it hadn’t been tested on babies. This frustrates me immensely, as other countries have child-friendly additive-free paracetamol readily available.paracetamol

A friend in Australia contacted me with a possible solution to my predicament. She has been having behavioural difficulty with her son. The doctors have since put him on an elimination diet to try to find the root of the problem. They also gave her a ‘recipe’ for homemade paracetamol, which she shared with me, and I’m now sharing with you.

If you click on the image opposite, you will be taken to a how to guide for paracetamol in dosages for children, from the King Alfred Hospital in Sydney, Australia. Please use this responsibly, and if you are unsure of dosages speak to your doctor or health visitor about it.

We found the easiest way of administering the paracetamol liquid was to crush a tablet in a pestle and mortar, then using a syringe, add the right amount of water. To mix it up, we draw the powder & water mix up into the syringe, and squirt it out into the pestle and mortar again a few times. This mixes it nicely and makes sure there are no large pieces of the original tablet left. We then draw up the correct amount in the syringe and clean the outside so that none of the bitter liquid touches our daughter’s tongue. She opens her mouth (sometimes with a bit of persuasion) and we quickly squirt the liquid down.

It is not a pleasant taste so we follow it up with a milk feed.

Alternatively, pop a sachet of Ashton & Parsons powder in the mouth and then squirt the paracetamol down – it seems to provide a sufficient amount of sweetness.

This has worked really well for us, specifically when teething has kept Ameli awake at night and I am so grateful that we discovered a way of relieving her pain, without subjecting her to the possible side effects of unsuitable alternatives.
P.S. For the US, replace Calpol with other flavoured children’s pain medication (possibly Tylenol?) and read Paracetamol as Acetaminophen

22 Comments

A Calpol Alternative?

  1. Or do not use drugs and trust in your child’s (our species’) innate immune system (which would work optimally as nature intended when breastfed and not messed up with antibiotics and other medications)…never had to give my now 18, 8 and 6 year old children anything, no antibiotics, Calpol, paracetamol, ibuprofen and what else is out there. I guess we are lucky that they are so healthy and happy and robust, but also it is a mindset of trust when they have a fever or chicken pox or are poorly, that they will usually manage it (in our society where we have no war, proper sewage systems, clean drinking water) just with adequate rest, sleep and hugs. Just sharing our experience.

    1. I agree with you. My children have hardly anything at all, and in fact, I can’t think when last they did, but we’re in a fortunate position. Not all parents have the option to take a day off work and sit by their poorly child, so like most things, it’s not a one size fits all world. I’m very blessed in both my ability to be home with my girls, and that they are very rarely unwell, or that when they are they can just spend the day in bed. I know not everyone has that way of life as an option though, and sometimes people have to make the best of a bad situation. 🙂

  2. Thank-you so so much for sharing this…I like to consider alternative and allopathic medications for myself and mainly opt for the homeopathic approach…however when you have a child I find it a bit more challenging to make these decisions…thanks for your inspiration to help parents help themselves! With love Angelina

  3. Thanks so much for this, I am honestly in state of bafflement and anger that there are no alternatives to Calpol and Nurofen as we suspect an artificial sweetener allergy in our 1 year old. He currently has tonsillitis and there are zero alternatives with antibiotics also, I don’t actually know what we are going to do at the moment. Artificial sweeteners, especially Saccharin cause searing stomach pains in him, my husband and my husband’s father. The out of hours doctor recommended we get allergy tested so that people “believe” us if he is ill again!! Even if he wasn’t allergic to AS I would still not want him to have them; like lots of the comments above they are all banned elsewhere or have been on the boarders of being banned at some point!! WHY ARE THEY PUMPING OUR CHILDREN FULL OF THIS STUFF!!! Thanks.

    1. Hi Louise, I’m sorry to hear about your little one being ill. I wanted to just say – I am NOT a doctor, okay – but I used to get tonsillitis every single year, without fail. there’s something called Kali.Mur – it’s a biosalt and it just boosts what you have in your body anyway. You can buy it from Boots or Holland and Barret. It made such a difference to my tonsillitis and it would be gone in a day or two. I hope that helps!

    1. paracetamol tablets are manufactured with sulphates as a preservative as sodium metabisulphite
      so i disagree with crushing up adult tablets and using them
      also to divide up 500 mg in four lots to get small dose is very dodgy unless you have proper gram scales .
      look up metabisulphates as a food additive ITS HAS ITS OWN PROBLEMS IN ADULTS NEVER MIND BABIES

  4. I find it unbelievable how much research you need to do as a parent to make sure you are not exposing your children to harmful chemicals. I am still learning and trying to find my own way. I grew up with calpol and have always been confident that paracetamol is safe so to be honest, didn’t think twice about using it for my daughter. I find it extremely sad and worrying that you HAVE to research EVERYTHING and read EVERYTHING. Why on earth can’t they produce a child friendly paracetamol without additives? But more worryingly, why as parents do we have to become detectives to figure out the safest and healthiest way forward?

    1. It’s all about the money, really!

      Just to clarify, paracetamol isn’t really the problem, and certainly has it’s place – it’s Calpol and to a lesser extent Nurofen that’s got the bee in my bonnet 😉

      1. Yes I meant paracetamol suspension really…I was typing with anger at speed! I feel very confident in paracetamol in general…but angry with myself for not paying closer attention. Ahhh another thing I should have, could have done better…

  5. Have you heard of Amber teething necklaces? I only came across them after I had my fourth baby, and all of her molars came in without so much as a peep while she wore the necklace!

    I don’t know if it works for everyone, but we never have to give her pain medication, so I count it as a bonus.

  6. Such a good idea, but I have to admit that I’m too afraid to try it because I just have this paranoia about drug dosages. A while back, here in the U.S., there were a number of stories about illnesses and deaths related to improper dosing of various drugs and then there was the whole hullabaloo where it was determined that no amount of cold medicine is good for infants and all the infant cold medicines were pulled and no longer sold. We have tried to avoid giving our baby medicine as much as we can, and hope that makes up for the additives she has taken in.
    .-= Christa´s last blog ..From Bed to Crib and Back Again (And Again) =-.

  7. Wow well done for researching this remedy, i’ll have to save this post. I’m currently the owner of about 12 bottles of Calpol (literally) thanks to a rushed prescription written by a GP for the treatment of an eye infection of all things! Sometimes we’re so ready to dose our kids with whatever and if we listened to what every doctor told us about how best to look after our sick kids well… we’d be in trouble. I’d rather pay attention to a fellow mum who’s done her research and is simply offering an alternative, than a doctor dishing out meds with one eye on the clock!
    .-= Babes about Town´s last blog ..Before sperm meets egg =-.

    1. @Babes about Town, Uju, thank you so much for such a fabulous comment and compliment. It means so much to me when I hear that my research, searching and ‘alternative’ choices help others too. It makes it have benefit so much further than just our home, which thrills me. I hope that you will find this method useful in time to come. Have a lovely weekend!

    1. No worries! It’s for fevers or pain relief of all kinds. It is also usually the active ingredient in such medicines as Calpol/Tylenol and is known as acetaminophen in the US.
      Here’s some more information from the NHS website. Hope that answers everything?

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