Thanks to the ‘tripledemic,’ it can be hard to find kids’ fever-reducing medicinesThanks to the ‘tripledemic,’ it can be hard to find kids’ fever-reducing medicinesGiphy GIFGiphy GIF

Thanks to the ‘tripledemic,’ it can be hard to find kids’ fever-reducing medicines

It can be hard to find children’s fever-reducing medication in some areas.
It can be hard to find children’s fever-reducing medication in some areas. Some medicines that can be particularly hard to find are fever reducers for kids, like children’s Tylenol, Motrin or Advil.
It says there is no nationwide shortage — just a lot of demand.
“Consumer demand for pediatric pain relievers in the U.S. is high, but there are no supply chain issues and we do not have an overall shortage in the U.S.,” company spokesperson Melissa Witt said in an email to NPR.
The company says it is “experiencing high consumer demand and are doing everything we can to make sure people have access to the products they need.”
While there may not be a countrywide shortage, there is one part of the U.S. where finding these meds is most difficult: areas near the Canadian border.
Supplies were low of cold and flu products for adults, as well.
“The supply chain is strong,” says Anita Brikman, a spokesperson for CHPA.
Parents have a range of options for treating fevers
“These medicines are not curative. They don’t alter the duration of the illness or anything like that. They are essentially purely for comfort,” he tells NPR.
“Fevers from common respiratory viruses in and of themselves are not harmful.”
“If [a child’s] temp is 103, but he’s running around the room having a good time playing, you don’t need to do anything with that. That’s not going to hurt him. Fever is representing our body’s immune response to an ...
...infection. On the other hand, if he doesn’t have a fever, but his throat is hurting, something is bothering him, he’s pretty fussy — then that’s where things like ibuprofen or Tylenol, acetaminophen can be helpful.”
Often when kids do have a fever, they do feel pretty crummy, and so that’s a time to use such medicines — “It’s to treat how the child is feeling,” O’Leary says.
“Fever in very young infants, in newborns, is actually a different situation, and that’s something that does need evaluation,” O’Leary says.
“Essentially, the younger the child, the more concerned you should be about a fever. For example, a 2-week-old with a fever is something that that needs immediate medical attention. ...
...A 6-month-old with a fever that’s otherwise doing well does not need immediate medical attention. [Parents] can simply call their child’s pediatrician to get that checked out.”
“For both acetaminophen and ibuprofen, there are potential toxicities from taking too much — some of which can be ...
Be very careful with adapting adult medications
...quite severe, particularly for acetaminophen. So you really have to be careful when you do that,” O’Leary says.
“It’s best to talk to the doctor or pharmacist,” she tells NPR.
If a parent or caregiver “can weigh [the child] at home, tell us what they weigh on their scale at home, we can figure out what an appropriate dose would be for them to take,” she says.
And Mobley-Bukstein has another piece of advice
Get kids vaccinated for COVID-19 and flu.
“Even if you still get the flu or even if you still get COVID, it’s definitely going to lessen the severity of the ...
...disease itself. And so just making sure that they’re getting their immunizations is really important,” she says.
PSA: Please don’t hoard the meds
“If families start to stock up in worry, as opposed to buying what they need, we are concerned that that could amplify the situation,” she says.
“So putting a whole bunch of them in your medicine cabinet at home might not serve you if you don’t get sick, or if your kids don’t get sick,” she says.
“It’s important for us to remember that they do have expiration dates, that it can be dangerous to give [children] expired medications. ...
...And so only buy what you need when you need it, and use up what you have at home before you go and buy new, if it’s still in date.”