Various conditions can cause a child to end up with a fever, including the flu, common cold and bacterial infections. It is important to note that fever is a normal response of the body to illness. A low-grade fever is not an issue to worry about unless it persists for several days. On the other hand, you can utilize home remedies to reduce the fever and make him/her more comfortable.
When to consult a doctor
The usual threshold for a fever is an oral temperature of 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit or higher or a rectal temperature of 100.4 degrees F or higher. An infant below 3 months of age with a temperature this high requires assessment by a doctor as soon as possible.
For babies 3-6 months old, a doctor should be consulted if the fever rises to 101 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. As for children 6 months or older, a doctor should be consulted if the fever is 102 degrees F or higher and lasts for more than 2 days. In case the fever goes up to 103 F or higher, it is best to call a doctor right away.
Plenty of fluids
Always bear in mind that fluids play a dual role in managing a fever. Fluids not only help cool the body, but sufficient fluids help prevent dehydration which is an issue among children with fever. The doctor might recommend giving the child water, popsicles, clear soups and gelatin.
For infants below 1 year old, the doctor might recommend an oral rehydration solution that not only helps rehydrate the child but also ensures that the correct balance of electrolytes in the body is restored.
One of the ideal non-medicinal measures to help keep the fever in check is to ensure that the environment of the child is comfortable. This includes dressing the child in light clothing as well as keeping the room temperature as cool as possible.
When the child is sleeping, allow him/her to use a light blanket unless he/she is shivering. In such cases, you have to provide the child with an extra blanket.
When a child is down with fever, he/she must get enough rest since it promotes faster recovery. Always bear in mind that rest is vital if a child has a fever. Remember that activity will only cause an increase in the body temperature that can worsen the fever.
Giving a child a lukewarm bath can help reduce the body temperature. The doctor might recommend a 5-10 minute soak using lukewarm water. Always bear in mind that the temperature of the water is vital. If the water is too hot, it can increase it. If too cold, it can trigger shivering which will also increase the body temperature. In addition, the doctor might recommend an acetaminophen before the bath to prevent shivering.