You can’t take chances when your child has a fever, but you shouldn’t panic either. We will help you to find out what you can do to help your child feel better and keep them calm.
What does a fever mean?
Fever is a sign that your child’s body is fighting an infection. Your child’s body is raising its temperature to kill the germs. In most cases it’s harmless and goes away on its own in 3 days.
How to tell if your child has a fever?
If you think your child has a fever, use thermometer to check their body temperature. Temperature readings may vary depending on the part of the body you use to record the temperature.
- Oral (by mouth) 99.5° F (37.5° C)
- Armpit (underarm) 99.3° F (37.4° C)
- Rectal 100.4° F (38.0° C)
- Ear 100.0° F (37.8° C)
- Forehead (according to age of the child)
- 0 to 2 months 100.7° F (38.1° C)
- 3 months to less than 4 years 100.3° F (37.9° C)
- 4 years or older 100.1° F (37.8° C)
However, there are many brands of thermometers. The temperature may vary depending on the brand of thermometer you use as well. Make sure to use thermometers according to the instructions mentioned on them. Your pharmacist can also help you pick the right thermometer for your child.
Medications for your child
Acetaminophen (Tylenol and others) can lower your child’s temperature. Follow the instructions given on the drug label, if your child is older than 2 years. If your child is younger, ask your doctor for the correct dose of medication to give to your child. You can also use ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, and others) to treat fever and pain, if your child is at least 6 months old. These drugs are safe for your children if used in the right way or as recommended by their doctors’.
Tips to use acetaminophen or ibuprofen
A few tips for the safe use of acetaminophen or ibuprofen include:
- Make sure to read the drug label properly and give medication to your child as instructed on the drug label.
- Make sure to give medicine as recommended by your doctor – don’t give more or less medicine often.
- Many allergies, cold, and flu medicines contain acetaminophen or ibuprofen. So make sure to consult with your pharmacist to avoid drug interaction.
- When giving a liquid medicine to your child, use the measuring cap that comes with the medicine. Don’t use teaspoon to measure the dose.
Other ways to keep your child comfortable
A few more things that you can do to make your child feel better include:
- Keep the room temperature to moderate – not too hot and not too cold.
- Dress him in one layer of light clothing and offer a light blanket.
- Make sure your child drinks a lot of fluids.
- Place a cool washcloth on your child’s forehead or sponge them with lukewarm water if temperature is too high i.e., over 102° F. If in case you’re sponge bathing your kid, make sure the water doesn’t get cold, and stop if your child starts shivering.