How to overcome a child's fever is a question that worries many parents. In order to help your child, but not to harm him or her, there are a few important things to remember.
When to control fever in a child?
Usually, when a child's body temperature is above 37 ° C, the parents become concerned and wonder what to do. Those who are concerned often forget that low-grade fever , i.e. a condition in which the child's body temperature rises above certain norms, does not exceed 38 ° C, however, is not an indication for intervention and administration of drugs that reduce fever . It turns out that increased body temperature has a beneficial effect on the course of the disease. This is a signal that the body is fighting the pathogen that caused the infection (usually viruses and bacteria). This is why you should not rush into giving your child antipyretic drugs.
A child is said to have a fever when his body temperature rises above 38 ° C. Stands out:
- moderate fever. Then the body temperature is in the range of 38 ° C-38.5 ° C,
- high fever, when the body temperature exceeds 38.5 ° C,
- temperature above 40 ° C, which requires immediate medical attention.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommend that if the fever is not high (less than 38.5 ° C) and the child is well, anti-pyretics should not be given. You only need to measure the body temperature and observe the little patient. This is important because a child's fever often not only comes on suddenly but also grows rapidly.
According to specialists, the primary goal of treating a child with a fever is to improve his comfort, and not just to lower the fever, it should be reduced when the body temperature is high (more than 38.5 ° C) or lower, but the child feels unwell .
How to beat a fever in a child? Homemade ways
It is worth starting to control a child's fever with home remedies. What to do? They will help:
- cool compresses applied to the forehead and neck, but also to the legs,
- summer baths (the water should be 1 ° C lower than the child's body temperature),
- herbal remedies that contain plant extracts (for example, linden inflorescence extract)
- light, loose clothing that allows air to pass through. Do not overheat your body. The room in which the patient is staying should be well ventilated,
- drinks. Hydration is important because prolonged or high fever, accompanied by drenching sweat, can lead to dehydration . The child should drink plenty of water.
If home methods of reducing the temperature of the child do not help, you need to use the contents of the first aid kit. If the temperature rises, the high fever persists and the child is unwell, he or she should be given a fever-lowering drug containing active substances from the group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It is paracetamol or ibuprofen , necessarily in a dose converted to the child's body weight. These drugs are available over the counter.
What about a fever for an infant and an older child? There are many medications on the market that are intended to be given to children in the event of a fever. They come in a variety of forms and dosages. These are syrups, suspensions, solutions, tablets or suppositories.
What is the best medicine for fever? It has the right dose of the drug substance, which is easy to measure and convenient to administer to a child. What for a fever for an infant and what for an older child? For the youngest patients, suppositories are best, for older patients - syrups, solutions or tablets.
How to beat a fever in a child. What else to remember
Always pay attention to the correct dosage when giving your child an antipyretic drug. The amount of medication is calculated on the basis of the child's weight, not age.
Although paracetamol or ibuprofen preparations can be used interchangeably to accelerate the decline in fever, they cannot be given simultaneously, as there is a risk of overdosing.
Children under 12 years of age must not be given aspirin due to the possibility of Reye's syndrome.
When to see a doctor with a child? If, despite giving the child an antipyretic drug, the body temperature does not drop, remains or rises, the child feels worse and worse, there is a suspicion of a bacterial infection or an infectious disease . Do not delay when a newborn or infant has a fever, especially in the first months of life.