Child care: How to manage fever

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Fever is a bodily response against infection. The body increases its temperature to eliminate any germs. In most instances, it is relatively harmless and settles on its own in 3 days.

What should I do for fever?

You can provide the child with acetaminophen to reduce the body temperature. If older than 2 years old, the dosage is indicated on the label. For young children, consult a doctor on how much to give. Ibuprofen is another option if the child is at least 6 months old.

Apply a cool compress over the head and maintain the room at a reasonable temperature. The child should be dressed in a layer of light clothing and provide a light blanket. A lukewarm sponge bath can also help cool him off.

You can provide the child with acetaminophen to reduce the body temperature.

What should be avoided?

  • Do not provide the child with aspirin since it can trigger a serious condition called Reye’s syndrome.
  • Do not use a combination of cold and flu remedies among young children particularly among those below 4 years old.
  • When a cold medication is used, carefully read the label and choose one that closely matches with the symptoms.
  • Do not use an ice bath or rub the skin using alcohol since both can heighten the fever.
  • Do not bundle the child with thick clothes or blankets.

When to consult a doctor?

In most instances, seeing a doctor is not usually required. Oftentimes, fever can be a serious indication. Call a doctor for the following:

  • Temperature of 104 degrees F or higher
  • Child is below 3 months old with temperature of 100.4 degrees F or higher
  • Fever that lasts more than 72 hours (or more than 24 hours if a child is below 2 years old)
  • Has a seizure
  • Fever accompanied by other symptoms such as stiff neck, ear pain, sore throat, rash or severe headache
  • Appears upset, sick or unresponsive

More Information / Disclaimer

The information posted on this page on fever is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage fever by taking a standard first aid course with Victoria First Aid.


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