Aspirin and children

Aspirin should never be given to children under 12 years old unless specifically prescribed by your doctor, as it has been linked to a v rare condition called Reyes syndrome (which is inflammation of the brain and liver). Reye’s syndrome is a serious illness that can lead to death. Because it may be hard to tell if your child has one of these infections, it’s best not to use aspirin.

The incidence of Reye’s syndrome has declined greatly since a peak in 1980. Many people assume the decline is due to the warnings against children taking aspirin, but that may be only part of the reason.

Don’t assume that the children’s medicines you find in your pharmacy/store will be aspirin-free. Read the label carefully to make sure. Aspirin is sometimes referred to as “salicylate” or “acetylsalicylic acid.” Ask your Doctor or pharmacist if you’re not sure whether a product is safe.


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