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New doses for children's medicine

Medicines for children that contain paracetamol are having their dosage guidance updated to ensure parents measure out the correct amount.

More detailed information will be given on labels for liquid medicines outlining doses for specific age groups.

Currently there is only one dosage age band for those aged between six and 12.

Under the new guidance this will be separated in three groups.

For example, the guidance currently says children aged six to 12 should have 5ml to 10ml of medicine, up to four times in 24 hours.

By the end of this year, the pack will read 5ml for those aged six to eight, 7.5ml for those aged eight to 10 and 10ml for those aged 10 to 12.

There will also be clearer guidance for paracetamol formulas for babies, according to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Dr June Raine, MHRA Director of vigilance and risk management of medicines, said: "The change is to ensure children get the most optimal dose of paracetamol suitable for their age.

"This updated dosing advice will clarify the doses, making it easier for parents and carers to know exactly how much paracetamol they should give their children.

"The change is not because of safety concerns and parents/carers should not be worried that they have done anything wrong."

Paracetamol products for children currently on the market should have the updated dosage instructions by the end of 2011. In the meantime, parents can still follow the doses recommended on the pack.

Copyright Press Association 2011