You don't need to run to the emergency room every time your kid's temperature climbs a degree or two! Here's how to treat a fever during a child's illness at home.
The best way to treat a fever (assuming that it needs to be treated in the first place) is by giving your baby acetaminophen or ibuprofen—medications that help to bring down the fever while relieving some discomfort. Acetaminophen is appropriate for children of all ages, but ibuprofen is only recommended for children over the age of 6 months and—according to the American Academy of Pediatrics—it should never be administered to children who are dehydrated or vomiting. If your child is 3 months old or younger, you should consult a physician before reaching for the acetaminophen. It's important to determine the cause of the fever before treating the symptoms.
Exceeding the recommended dose of acetaminophen is very dangerous, so use a medication syringe or dropper to measure your child's dose. Remember to stick to the recommended schedule for administering the medication, too. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, medication should be administered no more than five times in 24 hours. Acetaminophen infant drops are more concentrated than the liquid medication, so be sure to follow the dosage chart for the product you are administering. You should also see if any of the other cough or cold medications that your child is taking contain acetaminophen.
If your child throws up or spits up within a few minutes of taking his acetaminophen, ask a doctor if you should re-administer the medication. It usually takes 30 to 45 minutes for a medication to be absorbed by the intestines. However, if the medication remained in your child's stomach for more than a few minutes, don't risk giving her a double dose—it's simply too difficult to determine how much of the original dose she managed to retain.
Give your child plenty of fluids in order to bring his body temperature down and avoid dehydration.
Avoid overdressing your child. Instead, dress him in loose, lightweight clothing with only a sheet or light blanket for covering.
Keep your child's room cool, but not cold. If your child gets too cold, she will start shivering—something that will cause her body temperature to rise.
You can also try to lower your child's temperature by submerging him in lukewarm water. (Don't use cold water or he'll start shivering and raise his body temperature.) Instead of towel-drying him, let the water evaporate from his skin—it will help to cool him down. Whatever you do, do not, we repeat, do not add alcohol to the water to bring down your child's temperature; it could lead to serious—even life-threatening—complications. Your child could inhale the fumes from the alcohol. Additionally, alcohol can aggravate a fever by constricting the blood vessels in the skin, thereby reducing heat loss.report abuse