If you're a parent, you're all too familiar with this scenario. It feels warm when you place your hand on your ill child's forehead. The thermometer then confirms your suspicions: they have a fever. However, if you follow a few easy principles, you can make them feel more at ease and keep them secure. Fever is a natural defense mechanism against infection. To kill the bacteria, your child's body raises its temperature. It's usually harmless and goes gone on its own within three days.
What Should You Do?
Acetaminophen can help your child feel better by lowering his or her temperature. The dose will be indicated on the label if they are older than two. Check with your doctor how much to give them if they're younger. If your baby is at least 6 months old, another choice is ibuprofen.
You have a variety of options for making them feel better. Apply a cool compress to their head and maintain a comfortable temperature in their room — not too hot or too chilly. Provide a light blanket and clothe them in one layer of light clothing. You can also give them a lukewarm sponge wash to relax them. Don't forget to encourage them to drink plenty of water.
What Shouldn't Be Done
Never give aspirin to your youngster. It can lead to Reye's syndrome, which is a dangerous illness. When it comes to young children, stay away from cold and flu treatments that contain both. They should not be given to children under the age of four. It's uncertain how effectively they work in older children.
If you consider giving your child a cold medicine, check with your pediatrician to be certain he or she is old enough to take it. According to the FDA, no child below the age of two should be offered any cough or cold product containing a decongestant or antihistamine, and even children older than two should be advised caution. Furthermore, no child under the age of four years old should be given a product containing both cough and cold drugs. The potential negative effects can be significant and even fatal.
If your child's doctor suggests it's OK to use cough or cold medicine, read the label carefully before purchasing and choose the one that best matches his or her symptoms. Without your pediatrician's permission, don't transition from one drug to another. Do not use an icy cold bath or alcohol to rub your child's skin. Either can cause a temperature to rise. Even if your child has the chills, avoid wrapping them in heavy blankets or clothing.
When Should You Consult a Doctor?
Taking your ill child to the doctor is usually unnecessary. Fever, on the other hand, might be a major warning sign. If your kid has any of the following symptoms, contact your pediatrician:
1. Has a temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
2. Is under the age of three months and has a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
3. Is suffering from a fever that has lasted for more than 72 hours? (or more than 24 hours if your child is under age 2)
4. Has a fever and other symptoms like a stiff neck, a dry mouth, ear pain, a rash, or a strong headache?
5. Is having a seizure.
6. He or she appears to be unwell, upset, or unresponsive.
Simple Tips to Take Your Child's Temperature
How often should you check? That is dependent on the circumstances. Consult your child's pediatrician. If your child is resting soundly, you usually don't need to take their temperature or wake them up. However, you should do it if your child's energy level is poor or if he or she has a history of seizures associated with fever.
What is the best thermometer for kids? The best are those that are digital. They might be placed in their mouth, rectally, or beneath the arm.
A rectal temperature is the most accurate for young toddlers. You can usually get a good reading with a thermometer in the mouth if your children are 4 to 5 years old or older. It's less reliable, but it's simpler to do under the arm. To get a more accurate figure, consider adding a degree to an underarm reading.
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