Having an elevated temperature is the body’s normal response to certain illnesses, and can also sometimes be a result of teething in babies and toddlers.
Infection is the most common cause of fever in children. Common viral and bacterial illnesses like colds, gastroenteritis, ear infections, croup, bronchiolitis, and urinary tract infections are the most likely illnesses to cause fever. -from www.uptodate.com
It’s normal – yes. But as the parent, it is not the easiest thing to see your child go through. :(
Here are some possible treaments for fever (also from uptodate.com):
Medications — The most effective way to treat fever is to use a medication such as acetaminophen (sample brand name: Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (sample brand names: Advil®, Motrin®). These treatments can reduce the child’s discomfort and lower the child’s temperature by 2 to 3ºF (1 to 1.5ºC). Aspirin is not recommended for children under age 18 years due to concerns that it can cause a rare but serious illness known as Reye syndrome.
Acetaminophen may be given every four to six hours as needed, but should not be given more than five times in a 24-hour period. Acetaminophen should not be used in children younger than three months of age. The dose of acetaminophen should be calculated based upon the child’s weight (not age).
Ibuprofen may be given every six hours. Ibuprofen should not be used in children younger than six months of age. The dose of ibuprofen should be calculated based upon the child’s weight (not age).
Giving combinations of acetaminophen and ibuprofen or alternating acetaminophen and ibuprofen increases the chance of giving the wrong dose of one or the other of the medications.
Fever-reducing medications should only be given as needed, and discontinued once bothersome symptoms have resolved.
Increase fluids — Having fever can increase a child’s risk of becoming dehydrated. To reduce this risk, parents should encourage their child to drink an adequate amount of fluids. Children with fever may not feel hungry, and it is not necessary to force them to eat. However, fluids such as milk (cow’s or breast), formula, and water should be offered frequently. Older children may eat flavored gelatin, soup, or frozen popsicles. If the child is unwilling or unable to drink fluids for more than a few hours, the parent should consult the child’s healthcare provider.
Rest — Having a fever causes most children to feel tired and achy. During this time, parents should encourage their child to rest as much as the child wants. It is not necessary to force the child to sleep or rest if he or she begins to feel better. Children may return to school or other activities when the temperature has been normal for 24 hours.
Sponging and baths — Sponging is not as effective as antifever medications and generally is not recommended.
But do we treat fevers at all? If so, when?
- I usually give meds to reduce fever before bed at the very least, because I cannot monitor my child if they are asleep and I am asleep (though I have gotten up in the middle of the night to check). Also, I can’t judge whether or not a child is lethargic at midnight because they’re exhausted anyway. So, I give meds to break a fever about 30 minutes before their bedtime. Not to mention I am a scaredy cat…
- I also give my little one something to reduce it when I see that they are very uncomfortable during the day. When my older children are sick I usually let them be, rest on the couch because if they start to feel better they won’t take it easy. Under the age of 3 or so, though, I generally will give meds during the day because they don’t understand why they feel so bad and it just kills em to see them suffer!
What do you think?
Do you give meds to reduce fevers with your kids?
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