Childhood fevers are fairly common and while the symptoms are unpleasant for the child, they are generally a good sign that the body is fighting off an infection. Most fevers do not need to be treated with medication, but if your child has a history of febrile seizures you will want to try and prevent the fever from getting too high and setting off another seizure. The symptoms caused by a fever can make a child uncomfortable, but it can often be alleviated using natural treatment methods.
Keep Your Child Hydrated
Hydration is essential for a child with a fever. The rise in body temperature quickly causes a child to become dehydrated, so it is important to replenish fluids frequently. If your child will not drink, try offering frozen juice pops, gelatin and ice chips. Oral rehydration solutions can be used to replenish lost fluids. Your child may be more receptive to drinking small amounts of liquid throughout the day than drinking larger cups of fluid. Some children find it easier to increase their fluid intake by drinking with a straw. Keeping fluids readily available to your child will also help to increase his overall fluid intake.
Control the Temperature in the Home
A fever will make a child alternate between feeling extremely hot and extremely cold. Keep the temperature in the home relatively cool, but not cold, and dress your child in light clothing. Blankets can be used to adjust the temperature as needed without overheating your child. Wearing heavy clothing can easily overheat your child and should be avoided.
If your child is chilled, help him stay wrapped up in a blanket, preferably one that is made of a fairly breathable fabric. Warm drinks, such as hot chocolate, can help warm a chilled child while increasing his fluid intake at the same time.
Encourage Your Child to Rest
A fever is a sign that the body is fighting off an illness, and with any illness, it’s important to get extra rest to allow the body to recover. Fevers often leave children feeling a bit lethargic, so most children will willingly slow down a bit from their normal level of activity. Put in a favorite movie and camp out with your child eating frozen juice pops to distract him from the fever symptoms. Your child will enjoy the time with you and get the rest he needs. Older children are often reluctant to take a nap in the middle of the day. As a parent, you can encourage rest by keeping the tone the home calm and turning on relaxing music.
Give Your Child a Warm Bath
A warm bath can often be comforting for a child with a fever. The lukewarm bathwater will cool the temperature of the body and relieve some of the symptoms of the fever. Be sure and keep the air in the bathroom warm enough that your child does not get chilled, especially as he gets out of the tub. A warm bath before bed may help a feverish child to rest easier through the night and get the extra sleep that he needs.
Boost Your Child’s Immune System with Healthy Food
Healthy food plays a huge role in helping the immune system fight off illness. Feeding your child a healthy diet rich in vitamins will help his body heal. Fruit juice, while typically not an ideal choice, does count toward your daily recommended dose of fruits and vegetables and is a great way to increase nutrition when your child is sick. Comfort foods, such as chicken noodle soup, can provide extra protein, carbohydrates and servings of vegetables and can be soothing to a sick child. Breastfeeding babies should continue to nurse. The antibodies in their mother’s breast milk will help them to fight off the infection that is causing the fever faster.