A fever results when the immune system responds to the invasion of bacteria or viruses in the body. While fever can cause discomfort and dehydration, it is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, fevers seem to play a key role in helping the body throw off bacterial and viral infections. This does not mean there is nothing you can do to assist your child. Some medical experts give the following recommendations for treating a mild fever:
How to Treat a Mild Fever
Keep your child’s room comfortably cool. Dress the child lightly. Overheating can aggravate the fever. Encourage the child to take in extra fluids, such as water, diluted fruit juices, and soup, because fever can lead to dehydration. Infantsshould continue to be breast-fed. Avoid foods difficult to digest, as a fever decreases stomach activity. Kids under two years of age should not be given any medication without the advice of a doctor.
Try To Prevent Further Occurrences
Prevention is the best medicine, and one of the most effective ways to protect your child from infection is to teach him or her basic hygiene. Children should be taught to wash their hands often—especially before eating, after using the toilet, after spending time in a crowded public place, or after petting animals. If, in spite of your best efforts, your child does get a mild fever, do not overreact. As we have learned, there is much you can do to help your child recuperate.
Call the Doctor if a Feverish Child Has The Following Symptoms
- If the child is three months of age or younger and has a rectal temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
- Refuses liquids and shows signs of dehydration
- Is still feverish after 72 hours
- Cries inconsolably or shows signs of confusion or delirium
- Has a rash, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, or repeated vomiting
- Has a stiff neck or sudden severe headache