A fever in your toddler is a sign that he has an infection and that his body is trying to fight it. It’s normal and, in most cases, there is no cause for concern. You can treat the fever at home, but you should contact your doctor if the fever is high or if your child seems abnormally sick. The most important thing that you’ll need to treat your toddler’s fever is patience, as a sick child can require a great deal of your attention.
Take your child’s temperature to get an accurate reading. Though your child may feel warm to the touch, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he has a fever. The most accurate temperature reading comes when you take the temperature rectally, but you can also take the temperature from the ear, mouth or armpit. Follow the directions that came with your thermometer for proper use.
Make your child feel comfortable. Let her stay in her pajamas or her favorite clothes and snuggle on the couch with a blanket.
Offer plenty of liquids. Dehydration is a major problem when children have a fever, particularly if it’s accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea. Offer your child water, juice or milk. You may also want to give him an electrolyte drink made especially for sick children. Popsicles are another form of hydration if he doesn’t want to drink.
Take note of other symptoms. If your child just seems generally ill–fever and fatigue–there may be no need to contact your doctor. However, if you see a purple rash or your child has a sore throat or earache, you may want to take her to the doctor.
Administer fever medications if the fever is very high. If your child’s fever is over 101 degrees F, you may want to give him a fever-reducing medicine, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. The dosage for these medications is based on weight, so check the packaging or ask your doctor if you are unsure about how much to give.
Clear a stuffy nose with a bulb syringe. A fever is often accompanied by a stuffy nose. Squeeze the syringe, place it in your child’s nose, and then let go. This will suck any blockages out.
Keep her cool with a wet washcloth. You can apply a wet washcloth to her forehead. Alternatively, you can purchase a cooling pad that will stick to her forehead.
- when i’m sick image by Renata Osinska from Fotolia.com