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5 Tips for Treating Your Child’s Fever
A fever can be caused by infections, immunizations and overdressing. Most fevers are not dangerous, but you want to make your child as comfortable as possible. Get some tips for how to handle it the next time your child has a fever.
How to treat a child’s fever
1. Keep the child cool
Children get the chills when they have fevers, so they want to bundle up in extra clothing and blankets. This prevents the heat from escaping and can actually cause the fever to get higher. Remove excess clothing and blankets, so the heat will escape, and the body’s temperature will go down. The child will likely complain of being cold, but this is necessary for bringing the temperature back to normal.
2. Bathe the child in a lukewarm bath
A lukewarm bath can reduce the fever and also alleviate some of the symptoms. For instance, the aches and pains associated with fevers often lessen after the child soaks in a lukewarm bath. Do not put the child in an ice bath, though. While some people recommend this, it is unnecessary.
3. Use fever-reducing medications
Fever-reducing medications help bring down the fever and reduce symptoms. If the child is between the ages of two and six months, consult with the pediatrician about using acetaminophen. Children who are six months and older can take ibuprofen or acetaminophen to ease the symptoms.
This is not always necessary. If the temperature is below 102 degrees and the child is not uncomfortable, parents do not need to use fever-reducing medications.
4. Provide lots of fluids
It is easy for children to get dehydrated when they have fevers. Dehydration makes the symptoms worse. Supply the child with ample fluids to avoid the chance of dehydration. This does more than simply keep the child hydrated. Fluids can also fight back against the fever and lower it.
5. Know when to call the pediatrician
While most fevers are not dangerous, some are, and parents need to call the pediatrician in some cases. If the child is three months or younger and has a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher when taken rectally, the parents should call the doctor.
If a child between the age of 3-6 months has a fever above 102 degrees Fahrenheit when taken rectally, the parents should also call the doctor. The pediatrician might request that the child come in for an exam.
Parents should also call the doctor if the fever lasts longer than three days, or if the child has other symptoms, such as irritability, discomfort or lethargy. These could be signs that something else is going on.
Fight back against fevers
Fever is the body's natural way of fighting back against infections. However, parents sometimes need to fight back against fever to keep their kids comfortable. Follow these tips and be sure to call the doctor if the fever is dangerously high or there are other serious symptoms.
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