Childhood Fever

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Fever in a child is a stressful dilemma for the caregiver. What level of fever is significant and how should you treat it? Dr. Edward Hill discusses this in the 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Although it can be frightening when your childs temperature rises, fever itself causes no harm and can actually be a good thing. Its often the bodys way of fighting infections.

However, if fever gets too high in a child, it is important to bring it down. High fever can make a child uncomfortable and worsen problems such as dehydration.

In children three months old or younger you should call your physician for any fever. Older children whose temperatures are lower than 102 degrees usually dont require medication.

To treat fever in older children:

Give your child a sponge bath. Use only lukewarm water; never use rubbing alcohol.

Dress your child in lightweight clothing.

Offer plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.

If they are fussy or uncomfortable, give acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Never give aspirin to a child under 12.

The exact temperature that should trigger a call to the doctor depends on the age of the child, the illness, and whether the child has other symptoms.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.