Treating Fever in Children

Monday, November 28, 2016

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:

Fever is the bodys natural response to an infection and helps the healing process.

A high temperature can be alarming but in an otherwise healthy child it usually isnt something serious. However, if fever gets too high in a child, it is important to bring it down.

Rectal temperatures are the most accurate and are normally one degree higher than temperatures by mouth.

In children 3 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, and

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.