How to lower a fever in a child
Fever is a body’s defense mechanism to an infection. It appears in children when there is any viral infection but it can also produce as a secondary effect of vaccination or due to an excesss heat. In most occasions it doesn’t suppose any problem and it isn’t always necessarily to beat it. However, knowing if your baby has a fever is one of the most worrying questions for all parents, that’s why if you observe that your baby has a fever and general malaise, you can follow this advices about how to lover a fever in a child in order to make him feel better.
When the temperature increases, it means that the child’s immune system is working correctly and trying to eliminate the virus that has infected its body. Although it is impossible to generalize about a normal baby’ body temperature, it can be considered a fever when it is above 38ºC (measured in the rectum) or 37,5ºC (measured under the armpit). If this temperature exceeds, we invite you to consider the following recommendations in order to lower a fever in a child:
- Do not wrap up too much the child and try to maintain the right temperature in the bedroom, approximately at 21ºC.
- Offer the child liquids often, such as water or juices, in order for him to be well hydrated.
- A tepid water bath can also help the child to feel better. Make sure the water isn’t too hot nor too cold so the change of temperature doesn’t cause him any sudden change.
- Try to make the child eat something but never forcing him.
- Always under the supervision of a pediatrician, you can give your child an analgesic (paracetamol or ibuprofen). The baby will feel better although it would not cure the infection.
- In order to treat fever, it is recommended to not altern medications.
You must not give the child any antibiotic to lower the fever without consulting the pediatrician. They are not always effective because they just act effectively against bacterias, but not against virus.
When to contact the pediatrician if the child has fever
As we have recently commented, fever is not necessarily a sign of a disease or health problem. However, there are many situations in which it is recommended to consult the pediatrician so he can give us advice about what is better for our child.
The Spanish Society of Paediatric Emergencies recommends going directly to the Hospital if the child has fever and if parents observe any of the following symptoms:
- The child is dozy and irritable.
- The child is 3 months old or less.
- The child has a febrile seizure.
- The child has a headache or is vomiting.
- The child has difficulty breathing.
- If you observe red spots in his skin.
In order to determine the previous recommendations about how to lower a fever in a child we have followed Liip’s medical team advices as well as the action protocol of the Spanish Society of Paediatric Emergencies. These advices will help the child feel better, but remember, it is not always required to treat fever! How do you behave when your child has fever?