How to Take Care of Fever in Children

During the rainy season most parents get worried when a child gets fever. Don’t worry, here are tips for parents to manage a child’s fever at home. What to do and when exactly you should take your child to the doctor?

Fever is the body’s defence mechanism against various infections. Most of the fevers are of short duration. It can occur as an isolated symptom or along with other symptoms.

 

For example:

Symptoms

Suggestive condition

Cold, cough, throat pain, headache

Throat infection, tonsillitis, flu

Ear pain, discharge from ear

Ear infection

Rashes

Measles, dengue, chickenpox

Vomiting, loose motion, abdominal pain

Typhoid, gastroenteritis, dengue

Stomach pain, pain while passing urine, vomiting

Urinary tract infection

Severe muscle, body or joint pain

Dengue, chikungunya, other viral fevers

*above suggestive conditions are only examples, and the table should not be used for home diagnosis.

 

What should parents do to manage a child’s fever:

  • Checking fever by just touching forehead or neck is not very reliable. Check with a digital thermometer. Record the temperature before giving any medication as it helps the doctor know the pattern of fever.
  • Paracetamol is a safe drug. But it should be given in the right dose as prescribed by the pediatrician at an interval of 4-6 hours.
  • Aim of treating fever is mainly to reduce the discomfort of the child.
  • Give the child plenty of liquids. The child may not want to eat anything but do give sips of liquids.
  • Adequate rest is important.
  • Do not use antibiotics without consulting the doctor. Many fevers are viral in nature and antibiotics don’t help.
  • Do tepid sponge with normal water, not ice cold water.

 

7 Warning Signs when you must consult the pediatrician

  • Fever in newborn baby and infants less than 3 months
  • Vomiting excessively and not tolerating any oral feeds or fluids
  • Severe tiredness, laziness, irritability, child not active even after taking medicine
  • Severe headache, fits or difficulty in moving the neck
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Temperature above 104F
  • Fever for more than 2 days even after taking medicine.

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