NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) — If you're a parent, chances are you dread the "sick season."
"It's the sinus infections, and it's the cold, and it's the not going to school when they're sick," said mother of six Karen Bass.
That's especially true for parents of infants since there are really only a few medications you can give them for a cold, like baby Tylenol and baby Ibuprofen. The dosing is tricky.
"You know the doctor would tell you one thing and then a mom, with more experience, would tell you something else," said Bass.
Consistent overdosing over long periods of time can lead to major problems.
"With Tylenol the potential damage that you can get is to the liver. With Motrin or Advil, the potential damage that can occur is to the kidney."
However, Vanderbilt Dr. Joseph Gigante said more often, what they see is under-dosing.
"So what happens is, by under-dosing the medicine, your child is just going to feel sicker," said Gigante.
The problem is so prevalent, Vanderbilt created magnets explaining the doses required based on a child's weight. They've been handing them out to parents.
Doctors advise reading the labels on the medicine boxes and knowing your child's current weight, which is changing all the time.
"And then, based on that number, be able to dose the kids appropriately," said Gigante.
Parents like Bass said they appreciate the help and they'll just be glad when this year's nasty cold and flu season is over.
"It's just a lot to worry about. There's a lot to worry about in life. This is above and beyond," said Bass.
Doctors told News4:
A 6-11 pound baby can have 1.25 mL of Tylenol. They can not have Ibuprofen.
A 12-17 pound baby can have 2.5 mL of Tylenol or Ibuprofen.
An 18-23 pound baby cand have 3.75 mL of Tylenol or Ibuprofen.
For any child that is over 24 pounds, follow the directions on the medicine package.