Fever is the body’s natural response to infection or illness. It’s essential to know how to properly care for a feverish child and when you should seek medical help. Here are some tips on how to deal with fever in kids.
Give Them Plenty of Fluids
Give your child lots of fluids when they have a fever. Dehydration can be a big problem when children have fevers, and the main goal is to get them rehydrated. Don’t worry about giving them too much to drink. It’s better to offer kids too much than not enough!
To know the right amount of fluid to give a feverish child, use this “Rule of 6”: For every degree of temperature above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (or 38 degrees Celsius), give them one full extra ounce (30mL) for each hour they are having symptoms. For example, if your child has a fever of 104°F (40°C), you need to give them 4 ounces (118mL) every hour.
It is best to use an oral rehydration solution for children with fevers, particularly if they are vomiting or have diarrhea. You can make your own by mixing half a teaspoon of salt and six level teaspoons of sugar into one liter of water.
Give Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen to Reduce Fever
Over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help your child feel better and reduce their fever (and, to a lesser extent, decrease pain). Ibuprofen should be given every six hours as needed. You can use infant’s acetaminophen instead for children under six months old.
If your child is having trouble breathing, call your doctor immediately. If your child is 3 months old or younger and has a fever of 100°F (37.7°C) or higher, ask for medical help right away.
Remove Excess Clothing and Blankets
Remove any excess clothing and coverings to keep your child from getting too hot. You can use a fan to keep the air circulating. If your child is 3 months old or younger, you should keep them in light clothing to help regulate their temperature. Instead of heavy clothing, dress older children in lightweight layers.
Fabrics like wool, fleece and thick cotton can make your child hotter. Dress older children in shorts and T-shirts, exposing some of their skin to the air.
Offer Cool Tub or Sponge Baths
Sponging your child down with a cool cloth can lower their core body temperature. You can use lukewarm water or a bath instead. Make sure the water isn’t too cold, so you don’t trigger shivering. If your child is under 3 months of age, use sponge baths instead of tub baths. You can also offer them some juice or popsicles to keep their fluids up.
Take Them to the Doctor if Their Condition Worsens
It’s essential to watch for signs of dehydration, including if your child is urinating less often than usual. If they are lethargic or irritable, have seizures, vomit more than three times in 24 hours, or if their skin stays looking dry even after bathing, then you should bring them to a doctor at Hillsboro Urgent Care for further treatment.
Fever is a natural response your body has to infection or illness, but you need to manage it as well as possible for your son or daughter. Follow these tips on dealing with fever in children, and if their symptoms worsen, see a doctor right away.