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How do I treat my child’s fever?

Answered by Dr Ellie Cannon
8th September 2015

A fever typically clears up on its own, but there are things you can do to make your little one feel better.

The most important thing to do when your child has a fever is to keep them hydrated. Even if they’re not thirsty, encourage them to sip some cool water regularly, or give them a little extra formula or breast milk. If your child doesn’t want to eat, that’s okay.

If your child is uncomfortable or distressed, there are medicines you can give them to help lower their fever paracetamol and ibuprofen are not only painkillers, they can also help lower temperatures. You can try some paracetamol-based products that are suitable from two months. If your little one is over three months old and weighs more than 5kg ibuprofen-based products could be an option. Always be sure to read the instructions, give the age appropriate treatment and stick to the correct dosage. Don’t give your child both medicines at the same time.

It’s a myth that you sweat out a fever, so keep them and the room cool, but not to the point that they’re shivering. They should be dressed however they’re comfortable, and just keep their surroundings in mind. Pants and a lightweight sheet may be all they need, and there’s no need for a blanket if they don’t want one. A room temperature of 18°C (65°F) is usually appropriate.

Make sure your child gets enough rest and that they have the opportunity to lie down. A snuggle on the couch with their favourite book or movie can work wonders,  however they don’t have to be in bed all day if they want to be up and about.

Remember, don’t give aspirin to children under 16, as it is associated with a rare, but serious illness.

 

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