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A Quick Guide To Treating Your Child’s Fever

One of the most dreaded moments in a parent’s life happens when their child seems to be running a fever.

Medically, this is a condition classified by doctors as having a temperature of 100.0 degrees F or 38 degrees C and higher.

A fever happens when the body cannot maintain its normal temperature as a response to intruders or chemical changes in the body, like an infection, among others.

Depending on how high your child’s fever is, parents can often be at a loss on how to deal with it.

Children can respond to a fever in different ways, some being alright while others exhibit symptoms like irritability, loss of appetite, and reduced energy levels.

Running to the hospital may be the first thing that crosses parents’ minds, but before doing so, it also pays to learn how to try and manage symptoms at home first.

A Quick Guide To Treating Your Child's Fever

Here's a helpful guide you can use as you attempt to treat your child’s fever.

1. Learn When To Call Your Doctor

Before proceeding with these specific tips on how parents can help their children manage their temperature at home, it’s also important to learn first when it’s the right time to call your doctor.

That way, you can be guided accordingly so as not to keep your child at home when in fact, it’s now best to seek professional medical help.

If your child's temperature still doesn’t go down despite all the efforts you’ve already made, that’s a signal now for you to call your doctor.

Here’s a cheat sheet of a child fever temperature chart Australia to follow:

  • If your baby is from zero to three months, call your doctor immediately if their temperature is 100.4 degrees F or 38 degrees C or higher.
  • If your baby is between three to six months, call your doctor if their temperature is 102 degrees F or 39 degrees C or higher.
  • If your child is aged six to 24 months, visit your doctor if their temperature is already above 102 degrees F or 39 degrees C, and it has lasted more than a day. Also, take note of other accompanying symptoms like rashes, diarrhea, and cough.
  • If your child is over two years old, call your doctor if their temperature repeatedly rises above 104 degrees F or 40 degrees C.

Be careful of other warning signs like:

  • Your child can’t keep fluids down;
    • Your child seems lethargic and irritable;
    • Your child’s fever doesn’t respond to the medication;
    • Your child can’t maintain eye-to-eye contact;
    • Your child’s fever has already lasted more than three days.

2. Keep Your Child Hydrated

One of the main reasons why children make it to the hospital during a fever is when they become dehydrated.

This can easily happen, especially once the fever starts to elevate.

First, children may lose their appetite for food, having very little to no food intake.

Then, as the body temperature rises, the kid starts to sweat more than usual, making their body lose even more fluids than they may be taking in.

While there’s no need to force your child to eat, you at least have to keep up with the fluid intake. Water is a no-fail.

You can also offer soups, broth, or fresh juices in your child’s cup for some added nutrition.

3. Give Your Child A Sponge Bath

When your child’s temperature is too high, giving them a full bath is not recommended. Instead, you should give a sponge bath, also referred to as sponging.

This is a good technique to help reduce high temperatures in children and adults.

To do sponging, you only need a basin, lukewarm water, and a face towel. Soak the towel in the water, and gently rub this around your child’s body.

This is done multiple times to help reduce the temperature, usually in areas like the wrist, forehead, groin, and chest.

A Quick Guide To Treating Your Child's Fever

4. Dress Your Child Lightly

Now is not the time to keep your child well wrapped in warm or thick clothes.

You’ll want to dress them as lightly as possible so you’re not trapping heat in the body.

The excess clothing your child has may only cause their temperature to rise even more.

There's no one-size-fits-all approach to this; it’ll also depend on where you’re reading this from. It's up to you, as the parent, to decipher what’s considered ‘light’ clothing, depending on your current local temperature.

Conclusion

As you may already know, a fever isn’t necessarily a type of illness.

Rather, it’s a condition that also ensues due to a viral or bacterial infection. During the first onset of your child’s fever, you must know that it can still be managed well at home.

When the fever goes beyond three days, it becomes a good idea to see your doctor.

Likewise, this isn’t to say that you can self-medicate your child, especially when you’re unsure of what to do as you attempt to break your child’s fever.

Give your pediatrician a call to ensure you’re taking the right steps.

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