Fever is an indication that the body is fighting off an infection or illness. A fever occurs once the body temperature rises than the average temperature of 98.6 degrees F. Even though a fever in a child is an issue for concern among most parents, most cases of fever with low grade temperature are not serious and can be easily managed at home.
Just remember though that fever can still make the child fatigued and nauseous, thus it is vital to be familiar with ways on how to provide comfort until the fever is gone.
You can provide the child with acetaminophen or ibuprofen only after a doctor is consulted so that the appropriate dosage can be given. Remember that some children are too young to be given pain medications and in some cases, the doctor should properly assess the child before prescribing the right drugs.
Pain medications work by reducing the inflammation and lowering the body temperature for comfort. In addition, aspirin should not be used due to the risk for Reye’s syndrome.
Cooling the child
You can utilize a rag or towel that is soaked in cool water and place it over the child’s head. An elevated body temperature can cause discomfort and results to fatigue and body aches. Lowering down the temperature of the head can help reduce the fever on a short-term basis. Another option is a lukewarm bath but remove him/her if he/she starts to shiver in cool water since this can cause an increase in the temperature again.
Increased fluid intake
The child should be provided with plenty of fluids to drink to replace the water lost through sweat. Children tend to sweat more when they have a fever and prone to dehydration. Pediatric electrolyte beverages, water, soup broth and milk can help keep the child hydrated.
Try to avoid any sugary drinks such as juice and soda since they draw water into the intestines and can worsen the flu symptoms such as diarrhea.
The child should be allowed to rest as much as possible. Since fever is an indication that the body is currently fighting an infection, the child is more tired and lethargic than usual. It is vital to ensure that the child gets enough rest so that the energy of the body can be used to fight off the infection for faster recovery.
When to consult a doctor
- A 3-month old infant with a temperature over 100.4 degrees F.
- A 3-6 month old infant with temperature over 101 degrees F.
- A 6-month old with fever of 102 degrees F.
- Infant between 6 months to a year old with fever over 103 degrees F.
Always bear in mind that these are indications of a serious infection and requires proper medical assessment and care.