If you’re a parent, you’ll find the scenario where the thermometer confirms “Your child has a fever” familiar. Many parents have “fever phobia”—a tendency to freak out when their child’s body temperature spikes.
Of course, you can’t take chances when your child has a fever, but you shouldn’t panic either! Some information below will help you make your children feel better fast.
So, stay calm!
Keep in mind that fever is a defense against infection. Your child’s body is raising its temperature to kill the germs. In most cases it’s harmless and goes away on its own in 3 days.
If your child’s still active, cheerful and dancing around happily, and the reading is not above 102oF (38.5oC) no need to bring down the fever.
However, a high fever can be more dangerous for a young child than an adult. Here’s when to call your child’s doctor or try to bring down the fever:
- Children ages 0 to 3 months: Rectal temperature is 100.4°F (38°C) or higher.
- Children ages 3 to 6 months: Rectal temperature is above 102°F (39°C).
- Children ages 6 to 24 months: Rectal temperature is above 102°F (39°C) and lasts for more than a day. If they have other symptoms, such as a cough or diarrhea, you may want to call sooner.
For children 2 and older, call their doctor if they have a fever that repeatedly rises above 104°F (40°C)
And here are some safe ways to bring down your child’s fever
Try Fever Reducers.
The simplest yet most effective way to bring down a fever is to use Fever-reducing medicine such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin). Only give your child acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) if he is at least 2 months old. If your child is age 6 months or older, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) is OK, too. Read the label carefully for proper dosage. Don’t give aspirin to an infant or toddler. Call the doctor if the fever doesn’t respond to the medication or lasts longer than one day.
Drink More Fluids.
A viral fever makes your body much warmer than usual. This causes your body to sweat in an effort to cool down. But this leads to fluid loss, which can cause dehydration. Try to drink as much as you can when you have a viral fever to replenish lost fluids.
Take a Bath.
A 15-minute bath in lukewarm water may help bring your child’s fever down. Make sure the water doesn’t get cold, and take her out if she starts to shiver. Don’t try to bring a fever down rapidly by plunging your child into cold water; that tactic sends blood rushing to internal organs, which is how your child’s body defends itself from cold. Your child interior actually warms up instead of cooling down.
Cool Packs Under the Arms.
Putting cool packs under the arms and in the groin area is also a common, familiar and safe way of bringing down the fever.