Information displayed on labels of medicine will be updated to make them clearer and better tailored to babies and children, regulators have said.

The change in guidelines comes after it was found parents often give their children Calpol or similar medicines which contain paracetamol at home before visiting their GP, who would then prescribe a further painkiller.

It was also found that 25 per cent of young people were given too much pain relievers, putting them at risk of liver damage.

Currently, there is only a single guideline that covers those aged six to 12 years-old, which says they should have 5ml to 10ml of medicine, up to four times in 24 hours.

However, there will now be three age bands covering children aged between six and 12, and packs 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.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has also confirmed there will be new clearer guidance for babies.

Dr June Raine, MHRA director of vigilance and risk management of medicine, 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."

Posted by Robert Mair on 7.6.11 Comment on this article by sending it to: penny.hosie@pavpub.com