The Best Thing to Do for Infant or Child's Feverby Erin Schreiner
While a mom hates to see her child in any discomfort, during the course of your kid's childhood, he will almost certainly struggle through periodic bouts of illness. Often times, childhood illness is accompanied by a fever. While you may not be able to do anything to prevent or immediately put an end to an illness, you can help your infant or child make it through his feverish period with as little discomfort as possible.
Accurate Temperature Reading
Before you respond to your child's fever, you must ensure that you have an accurate temperature reading. Remember that a hot child does not necessarily mean that he has a fever. Kids are commonly toasty after periods of boisterous play. If you feel your tot's head, and it appears to be hotter than normal, obtain an accurate reading to ensure that he actually has a fever and that he is not, instead, just going through an activity-induced period of hotness.
Food and Drink During Fever
Many children in the midst of a fever experience reduced appetite. As a mom, you will likely be concerned when your usually hungry child turns up his nose at food. Instead of worrying about his food intake, you should focus on ensuring that he consumes enough liquids, reports Dr. Spock. The appetite suppression that commonly accompanies a fever is nearly always temporary. A few days of skimping on meals won't be detrimental in the long run. However, if your child becomes dehydrated, the problems could be long lasting. If your child seems hesitant to take in fluids, offer him small amounts of fluid frequently to increase the amount he takes in during the course of a day.
Cool with Liquids
Using cool liquids is a simple and non-invasive way to treat a fever. As the Ask Dr. Sears website suggests, moms can quickly reduce their kids' temperatures by placing them in a lukewarm bath or by putting a cool washcloth on their heads. Providing your child with cool drinks can also help by doing double duty. They both reduce his core body temperature and keep him hydrated.
While some moms may be hesitant to give their children medicine, doing so can effectively reduce fever. Dr. Spock recommends giving children who are struggling through a bout of fever acetaminophen or Ibuprofen as both of these medications will reduce fever. When giving your child one of these medicines, use only the varieties specifically intended for children, and follow the package instructions faithfully to reduce the likelihood of accidental overdose. If you have questions about using medicine with your child, don't hesitate to contact your doctor as he can provide you with more specific instructions than you can find on the package.
Seeking Medical Attention
In general, fevers are passing medical problems that will resolve themselves; however, there are times in which medical intervention may be necessary. If your child has a fever of 104 degrees F or higher, and it fails to drop with the use of medication and other interventions, you should contact your child's doctor. Also, if your child's fever is accompanied by extreme lethargy or highly excessive irritability, you should contact a medical professional, suggests the Ask Dr. Sears website.
- Thermometer image by Dream-Emotion from Fotolia.com