Fever, Age 3 and Younger - Home Treatment
It can be hard to know whether you
should call your doctor when your child has a
fever, especially during the cold and flu season. The
degree of the fever may not be related to the seriousness of the illness. The
way your child looks and acts is a better guide than the thermometer. Most
children will be less active when they have a fever.
If your child
is comfortable and alert, is eating well, is drinking enough fluids, is urinating normal
amounts, and seems to be improving, home treatment without medicine is all that
is needed for a fever. If you are not able
to measure your child's temperature, look for other symptoms of illness and
follow these home treatment measures.
- Encourage your child to
drink extra fluids or suck on flavored ice pops, such as a Popsicle. Your child
should be urinating at least every 6 to 8 hours.
- Dress your child
lightly, and do not wrap him or her in blankets. Dressing lightly will help
your child's body cool down.
Keep your child comfortable
Lowering your child's
temperature is important when the fever is causing discomfort. If your child is
Medicine you can buy without a prescription
| Try a nonprescription
medicine to help treat your child's fever or pain:
Talk to your child?s doctor before switching back and
forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two
medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.
| Be sure to follow
these safety tips when you use a nonprescription medicine:
- Carefully read and follow all labels on
the medicine bottle and box.
- Give, but do not exceed, the maximum
- Do not give your child a medicine if he or she
has had an
allergic reaction to it in the past.
Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than age 20 unless directed to do so
by your child's doctor.
- Do not give naproxen (such as Aleve) to children younger than age 12 unless your child's
doctor tells you to.
- Try giving your child a
sponge bath with lukewarm water. Do not use cold water, ice, or rubbing alcohol.
- Encourage quiet
- Watch for
signs of dehydration. These include your child being thirstier than usual and having darker urine than usual.
Symptoms to watch for during home treatment
Call your child's doctor if any of the following occur during home
- Your child's temperature gets higher, and he or
she appears sicker than before.
- You suspect that your child has an
extremely high fever.
- Home treatment is not making your child feel
- There is a significant decrease in your child's activity
level of consciousness, or your child acts confused or
struggles with you for no reason.
Signs of dehydration
develop. These include your child being thirstier than usual and having darker urine than usual.
- Pain develops, or the pain becomes more
become more severe or frequent.