Fevers go hand-in-hand with an illness and are a sign that your body’s immune system is fighting an infection. This doesn’t make it any easier to watch your little one suffering with a fever, though. By taking proper care of her when she’s sick, you can ensure that she’ll be playing again in no time.
When to Treat
Since a fever is the body’s way of fighting disease, trying to bring the fever down isn’t always the best thing to do. If your child is running a low-grade fever — less than 100 degrees F — you may want to just monitor the situation and see how it plays out. If it’s higher than that, however, you should try to treat the fever.
Bringing Fever Down
Acetaminophen is an effective fever reducer. Use the children’s or infant’s version of it, and give a dose based on your child’s weight. Check the instructions or call your doctor’s office for specific dosage instructions. Additionally, you could give your child a warm sponge bath, which will cool her body down. Hydration is important in getting a fever to drop, so be sure that your child has plenty of fluids. Use an oral rehydration solution if you are concerned about dehydration.
Make your child as comfortable as possible while he’s sick. Dress him in light clothes, even if it’s winter. Overheating could cause the fever to increase rather than decrease. Have your child resting throughout the day in his bed — or on your couch, which may allow you to be closer.
Occasionally, a toddler may have a febrile seizure when her temperature is over 102 degrees F. Though it’s scary to watch, you needn’t worry too much. If this happens to your child, make sure that she’s in a safe place where she cannot hurt herself by falling or bumping into something hard. Take her to the doctor afterward to rule out a serious condition.
When to See a Doctor
Call your doctor if your child’s fever is over 101 degrees F and is not responding to medicine. You should also call if he complains of a sore throat or pain when urinating, or if the fever lasts several days.