An infant or toddler who awakens at night time with a fever can be frightening. Take note that fever usually occurs once the body is dealing with an infection. The fever usually clears up within a span of a few days. On the other hand, a fever that develops in night time can make the child uncomfortable and have difficulty sleeping.
With this in mind, there are measures that you can perform to keep the child comfortable. It is also important that you also know when medical care is required so that proper treatment can be provided. If you will enroll in a first aid course today, you will learn effective measures in order to provide comfort to the child at night time.
Infants or toddlers with fever face a higher risk for dehydration. A child below one year old should be given an electrolyte rehydration drink when he/she awakens at night. This is usually prescribed by a doctor in order to prevent dehydration from developing. As for older children, they can be provided with an electrolyte replacement fluid, water, juice or broth. In case the child wakes up with sticky and dry mouth and does not have tears when crying, it is best to consult a doctor since these are indications of dehydration.
You can soothe a child who has difficulty going back to sleep at night with a lukewarm soak. This will help reduce the fever so that the child will feel comfortable and able to sleep again. Allow the child to soak for about 5-10 minutes. Once he/she starts to shiver, stop the bath and dress in light clothing. Take note that shivering will increase the body temperature which will only worsen the fever of the child.
In most cases, the initial reaction of many parents is to provide a child with fever at night with a fever medication. Nevertheless, medications that reduce fever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen are not always needed. If the body temperature is lower than 102 degrees F, it would not require any medication. If medications are taken when not needed, it will only extend the illness of the child. Additionally, aspirin should not be given to children since this medication can cause Reye’s syndrome which is a fatal condition.
When to consult a doctor
If an infant has fever reaching up to 100.4 degrees F or higher at night, it is best to consult a doctor. In case a doctor could not be reached, bring the child to the emergency department at the nearest hospital. Older children with temperature higher than 102 degrees F at night is also an issue to be worried about. Additionally, a lethargic or unresponsive child who will not eat or drink would require medical attention right away.