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Is There A Children's Tylenol Shortage? Here's What To Know

Hard-to-find Tylenol is making the sick season more complicated for parents and kids. Pediatricians weigh in on alternatives.

<p>ArtistGNDphotography/Getty Images</p>

ArtistGNDphotography/Getty Images

A Tylenol shortage recently hit Canada. Now, people in the U.S. are saying it's hard to find, according to reports including Detroit's Fox affiliate and the CBS affiliate in Buffalo, two areas close to the Canadian border.

Cold, flu, RSV, and COVID-19 seasons are in full swing. For many pediatric patients, Tylenol can provide relief from symptoms, including fever. If you're struggling to find it, you're not alone.

"One potential reason parents may be having a harder time finding Tylenol on the shelves is the high numbers of pediatric illnesses spreading now and the expected illnesses through this cold and flu season."

However, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health released a statement to the two TV stations denying a shortage is happening in the U.S.

"We are not experiencing shortages of Children's Tylenol in the United States," the statement read. "There is increased consumer-driven demand for our children's pain reliever products in Canada, and we're taking all possible measures to ensure product availability."

Regardless, the news that Tylenol is hard to find comes on the heels of numerous shortages affecting parents and children. In October, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed an Adderall shortage that parents had noticed during the summer. A recall of Abbott's Similac formula after confirmed infant deaths triggered a formula shortage earlier this year that left parents scrambling.

The timing of these challenges in finding Tylenol couldn't be worse for another reason: Nearly half (48%) of parents of children under 17 say their child has already been sick this school year, according to a survey of more than 1,000 parents conducted by MyVision.org. The same survey revealed that 70% of parents are still concerned about their children catching COVID-19 and 63% are worried about the flu.

Related:&#39;Sick Season&#39; Started Early This Year and I&#39;m Just Trying To Keep It Together

One pediatrician says the lack of Tylenol on the shelves may be a result of these illnesses.

"One potential reason parents may be having a harder time finding Tylenol on the shelves is the high numbers of pediatric illnesses spreading now and the expected illnesses through this cold and flu season," says Dr. Amanda Stovall, M.D., an Illinois-based pediatrician.

Reports that Tylenol is challenging to find may add to these anxieties. But Stovall shares that parents have other options to help their children.

Related:5 Baby Cold Remedies for Cough and Congestion

"Parents should feel comfortable using the generic form of Tylenol, which is acetaminophen," Dr. Stovall says. "For children over six months old, ibuprofen, or children's Motrin, is another fever-reducer option. "

Other, non-pharmaceutical interventions are also possibilities.

"For fever relief, a cool washcloth on the forehead or behind the neck can provide comfort," says Dr. Betty Choi, MD, a pediatrician and author of Human Learning Lab. "Children over age one can have a popsicle, such as a Pedialyte Freezer Pop, as a way to cool down, hydrate, and replenish electrolytes. They can also drink an oral rehydration solution like Pedialyte."

Dr. Choi adds that rest, ice, and elevation can help with strains and sprains.

For pain relief, it depends on the source of the pain. For example, for sprains and strains, rest, ice, and elevation can be very helpful. Ibuprofen is also an option for pain relief.

Reach out to a medical professional if you have questions about which over-the-counter medications are safe for your child. They can also ensure an accurate diagnosis of illness and advise on age-appropriate dosing.