Fevers are the body's way of fighting off an infection. When your child comes down with a fever, it's important to know how to keep them comfortable. While most fevers aren't a cause for concern in otherwise healthy children, it's helpful to know when to call your primary care physician. Here are four ways to help your child feel better.
What to Do When Your Child Gets a Fever
1. Take Their Temperature
To find out how severe your child's fever is, take their temperature using the thermometer of your choice. Depending on your child's age, how high the fever is will tell you when it's time to call your pediatrician. For children under three months of age, any temperature higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit should be brought to a doctor's attention. A fever of 102 degrees or higher is concerning for kids between three months and three years of age. For children of any age, any fever higher than 104 is considered dangerous.
2. Give Them A Sponge Bath
Sponge baths are a great way to bring your child's fever down without having to fully bathe them. Avoid using water that is too cold and aim for a lukewarm temperature. Between 20 and 30 minutes is an appropriate length of time for a sponge bath, but stop sooner if your child starts shivering. Don't use ice or apply rubbing alcohol to try to break the fever.
3. Use Medication
There are several over-the-counter medications that are effective in treating fevers. Children's Motrin or Tylenol are both popular options that have been used by parents for years. Check with your primary care physician on the appropriate dosage for your child. Avoid giving aspirin to children younger than 18.
4. Make Them Comfortable
To keep your child comfortable, consider applying a cold compress to their forehead. Make sure they have plenty of fluids to drink to prevent dehydration. Keep them in lightweight clothing and avoid dressing them in too many layers. If your child is chilly, cover them with a light sheet or blanket.
If you are looking for a primary care physician who puts your child first, contact HDR Healthcare Network in the Bronx, NY. They have several facilities throughout the city, including urgent care centers with extended hours. Their doctors treat patients of all ages and work with them towards meeting their health-related goals. For more information, visit their website or call (929) 256-5005 to schedule an appointment.