What Is A Fever?
A fever is a body temperature that is higher than normal. Your child's normal body temperature varies with his age, general health, activity level, the time of day, and how much clothing he is wearing.
Fevers are very common in childhood. It's important to understand that fever itself is not an illness, but rather a symptom caused by the body's attempt to battle common childhood infections. This makes some fevers helpful. Fever itself also is not a sign that your child needs an antibiotic. The main purpose for treating a fever is to help your child feel better.
You should also consult a doctor if...
* If your child is younger than 2 months of age and has a rectal temperature of 100.5 degrees or higher
* Your child's fever is accompanied by other major symptoms like pain, diarrhea, vomiting, rash, difficulty breathing, or a severe headache.
* If your child's fever lasts more than 72 hours or climbs above 104 degrees Fahrenheit, call your pediatrician.
* If your child's fever does not come down with medication.
* Keep his room comfortably cool.
* Make sure his is dressed in light clothing.
* Encourage him to drink fluids
* Medication - There are also medications you can give your child to reduce his temperature if he is uncomfortable. Both acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil) are safe and effective in proper doses. Be sure to follow the correct dosage and medication schedule for your child. IBUPROFEN / MOTRIN / ADVIL SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN TO ANY CHILD UNDER THE AGE OF 6 MONTHS.
* Rubber Ducky Required
A bath in lukewarm water can help reduce your child's fever. End the bath if your child begins to shiver, as chills actually signal an increase in the body's temperature. Never use rubbing alcohol to cool your child's skin - it can be toxic.
Some children are prone to seizures or convulsions when they have a fever, especially when their temperature is above 102 F. These are usually harmless. However, they can be frightening. The seizure usually lasts no more than 3 to 4 minutes and may be over in a few seconds. When this happens your child may look strange for a few minutes, shake, then stiffen, twitch, and roll his eyes. This should be reported to your doctor right away, to make sure the seizure is due to fever and not to a more serious condition.