He’s whining, he’s crying, and he’s moaning. You go to pick him up and kiss his forehead, and the wave of heat hits you before you get there. He is radiating and sweating. A fever has set in. Whether this is a rare or regular event for your child, a fever can be uncomfortable for him and disconcerting for you. Try some at-home remedies either before or while you head to the doctor’s office.
Check It Out
Babies have trouble regulating their temperatures; some kids can be rather hot in their own routine. Sleeping and running around can cause sweating and flushing. Keep an eye out for your child’s normal temperature. When he is feeling particularly warm and cranky, check his temperature with a thermometer. Digital and ear thermometers are convenient, especially when a child is sleeping or lethargic. Rectal thermometers are less comfortable and more accurate.
It is important that you identify and work to lower a child’s fever as soon as possible. Fevers and their accompanying symptoms can be dangerous to a child’s short-term and long-term health. A high temperature, over 104 degrees F, can cause permanent damage for your child. Fever is a sign of infection somewhere in the body, so keep an eye out for inflammation, coughing, exhaustion, pain and other symptoms.
Fevers are not comfortable sensations for little ones, and they often accompany headaches, rashes and other pain in the body. Help your child slow down and enjoy a quiet activity, such as watching television or listening to music. Place a blanket on the floor. Lie down with him to encourage him to get some rest. Give him water, juice or milk to keep him hydrated and to encourage fluid movement, which will keep him from getting too congested.
If it’s an infection, you may not be able to stop the fever, without medication and recovering from the infection, but you can urge his body to cool down. Give him a lukewarm bath. Don’t make it too warm; keep it comfortable, not cold. Let him play or splash to cool down his body. Let him trot around the house in little clothing. Feed him cold fruits and fruit juice Popsicles, full of vitamin C.
When To Go In
Sometimes, home remedies aren’t enough, especially when the fever is a sign of deep infection in the body. In these cases, treating the infection alone isn’t enough. You need to get to the heart of the matter. If your child is exhibiting unusual symptoms, call your doctor. He may prescribe pain relievers that treat inflammation and fevers, or he may ask you to come in for further examination. Let him make that call.
- sick child image by Renata Osinska from Fotolia.com