Generally, parents get worried when a child’s temperature rises. You suspect this when you put your hand on your sick child’s forehead and it feels warm or probably confirmed by the use of a thermometer.
Fever is a common sign of illness and does not mean something serious most times. It’s the most common concern for parents presenting their child at the emergency department. Fever shouldn’t be considered life-threatening unless it is extremely and persistently high. As a matter of fact, it plays a key role in fighting infections. The hypothalamus which is a part of the brain increases the body’s temperature as a way to fight the infection. It is essential to note that many conditions can cause fever other than infections.
If your child is actively playing, eating and sleeping well, he probably doesn’t need any treatment. You can relieve fever in your kids with the following measures.
- Keep the environment in terms of your child’s room cool and comfortable.
- Ensure the child is dressed in light clothing. Your kid shouldn’t be overdressed when they are indoors because it keeps the body from cooling by evaporation, radiation, conduction, or convection.
- Encourage the child to drink extra fluid and other liquids as well to be well hydrated. All clear fluids without caffeine are encouraged. You can detect if your child is well hydrated from the urine. It should be light-colored (not concentrated).
- For Stuffy rooms, you can place a fan nearby to provide constant cool air to the child’s body.
- Ensure physical activity is reduced, encourage the child to rest but doesn’t have to stay in bed when he/she has a fever.
- If fever is as a result of some contagious diseases like measles, chickenpox or flu, keep the child away from other children in order to fight infection well.
- Place child in his regular bath (either tub, or baby bath) with tepid water and use a wash cloth to spread a film of water over the trunk, arms, and legs. The water will evaporate and produce a cooling effect on the body. Cold water is not advised as it can be uncomfortable to the child and may cause shivering, which will raise the temperature. The child may start to shiver if the water is too cold and shivering can only make a fever worse. Tepid sponging will reduce fever by one to two degrees in thirty to forty minutes.
- Make the child comfortable by reducing the fever with antipyretic medications. Most commonly use is acetaminophen and ibuprofen. It is essential to follow the dosage and frequency instructions on the medication label. And remember to continue to give the medication over at least 24 hours or the fever will usually return.
- Monitor for signs of threatening illness. This will help you determine when to seek medical help for the child. The threatening signs may include child refusal to eat or drink, change in behaviour or appearance