When to Use Paracetamol or Calpol

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When to Use Paracetamol or Calpol

Its been a few weeks as for one of them I’ve actually been on holiday and seen some sunshine. No doubt I’ll put some pictures up on Facebook.

Today’s main piece is about paracetamol.

Having been forced to give my eldest – Nicolas, 9 years old – some paracetamol recently on our flight home from Turkey, I thought I’d give you my overall opinion…

Paracetamol, often given to children as Calpol, is perceived by the general public as being a safe form of pain relief.

When you compare this to the 16,000 deaths a year in Europe caused by aspirin then yes it is safe, but it is not without risks.

Regular use has been linked with increased kidney cancer, increased stroke and heart disease. Paracetamol can also quickly cause liver damage – and is in fact the number one cause of liver failure in the west – mainly because it is so easily available, and is found in a number of related preparations often taken mistakenly together.

Most recently the first examination of its effects on children where looked at – that’s right, even though Calpol is marketed as safe for children there has been no studies to confirm it.

The investigators found that taking it 12 times within a year doubled the risk of asthma and also increased the risk of childhood eczema. They also found that even a single dose of paracetamol per year was related to an increased asthma risk.

So what should you give your child if they have a fever of a pain?

Well the first answer is – do everything you can to ensure their good health in the first place. Apart from plenty of exercise and trying to get my kids to eat well, they take pharmaceutical grade fish oil, a pro biotic, a vegetable pill, and glyconutrients daily. In winter I add vitamin D3 to that list too.

On top of this they receive regular chiropractic care to ensure their brains get adequate spinal stimulation.

Our medicine cabinet contains oregano oil (good for 1001 things) and a number of herbal anti-virals safe for kids (blackcurrant, elderflower and hibiscus for example).

Should all this fail, I’ve treated them (which sometimes means a massage rather than chiropractic) and they can’t sleep (healing can not happen unless they are) then I have used paracetamol. I then explain that even though the pill may take away the pain, it is not curing the problem. If its in the day time then there is no paracetamol.

Well I hope this email has brought more valuable information to you. If you want to know more about how to look after children safely, then I recommend “How to Raise a Healthy Child” – its on the links page of my website under ‘recommended reading’


Written by Dr Chris Pickard

Published on 16 Sep 2010


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At the Body In Balance we practice one of the widest range of techniques of any clinic in the country. Patients benefit as often we can use a combination of techniques resulting in faster natural pain relief for the patient.