My 9-month old has a 102 degree fever and I was just about to give her some fever reducer, but first checked the ingredients of infant acetaminophen and to my surprise, the ingredient list includes: parabens (endocrine disruptors), high fructose corn syrup, Red 40 (artificial food coloring) which has been linked to DNA damage and cancer in rats and is banned in Europe, sodium benzoate (a common preservative that can cause hyperactivity in children), and propylene glycol (which the American Academy of Pediatrics has raised concerns about). And you want me to give this to my already sick infant? I’ll start with a tepid bath…and if her temperature rises above 103 and I ultimately need to use acetaminophen, then Little Remedies for Fevers makes a dye-free/paraben-free/gluten-free product.

Below is an excerpt of an article written by Susan Hunt Stevens,  Practically Green:

I decided to head to the pharmacy to see if it was possible to buy my pain reliever without all the yucky stuff. The poor pharmacy tech had no idea what hit him although I’m confident he is now way more familiar with inactive ingredient lists.


I did find a “dye-free” version of acetaminophen which gets out the artificial colors, but everything else is still there. I also found a few homepathic remedies, but realized I’m not ready to part with an active ingredient that I know works. What I want is Tylenol or Motrin Free & Clear. But it doesn’t exist. So what’s a healthy green mom to do?

Fortunately, our friend Alexandra Zissu had addressed this question before in her “Ask an Organic Mom” blog on the Daily Green and I liked her advice:

It depends on your child, but in my experience, infants “need” Tylenol very infrequently. I haven’t found a child’s liquid pain reliever/fever reducer that didn’t contain a whole host of ingredients I would prefer to avoid. Someone should make one, surely there is a market. If there’s an ailment, I first suggest trying natural remedies, home remedies, or even homeopathic remedies (if you know and understand what they are, and are being advised by a trustworthy person). Talk to your pediatrician about what alternative remedies might be available. Nothing works better than honey to soothe a cough, for example, but it can’t be given to children under 1…If and when these don’t work, I do go to Tylenol or Motrin. Whatever you choose to give your baby, pay very careful attention to dosage guidelines and follow them.

So for now, we’ve settled on dye-free and even more prudent use of the stuff. But if anyone from Johnson & Johnson/McNeil Consumer Products is listening, you can do better and our kids deserve it. So when you finally do launch a Free & Clear version of your products, I want to be first in line.

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