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Do not give aspirin to under-16s unless prescribed by a doctor

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31 August 2012
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The Daily Mail newspaper reported on who should consider taking an aspirin a day. One of Medicines for Children’s experts, a Consultant Paediatrician, notes that “aspirin should never be given to under 16s” unless prescribed by a doctor. She explains that the medicine “could trigger a potentially fatal condition called Reye’s syndrome.”

A doctor may prescribe aspirin for children with heart or kidney problems to prevent dangerous blood clots. (This is sometimes described as thinning the blood.)  See the Medicines for Children leaflet about aspirin.

For particular groups of children, the benefits of aspirin in reducing blood clotting far outweigh the risk of developing Reye’s syndrome. Speak your doctor if you are worried about this.