Children Fever First Aid

Doctorsae Team

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All families almost have that difficult time when one of their children has a fever for the first time, and they looked confused do not know what to do exactly. This article is mainly targeting those young and new parents with limited medical experience by providing clear and simple guidance and medical background about what is fever and how to deal with it.    

What is Fever?

Fever is a body situation when its temperature rises above 38 c or 100.4 F. The fever occurs in response to an infection, illness, or some other causes, as the hypothalamus - which is part of the brain that controls body temperature - reset the body to a higher temperature to make the body hot enough, so the germs that are invading won't survive.

Is fever dangerous?

Generally, it is not dangerous especially if kid is eating, drinking and sleeping well. But, if the body temperature for infants with less than 3 months is high or for other older children feeling uncomfortable or abnormal with one of the following symptoms or signs such: headache and stiff neck, vomiting, drowsiness, diarrhea, seizure, new skin rash, difficulty breathing and dehydration, then they should be referred to doctor/ hospital immediately.

How to treat a fever?

Children with relatively high fevers may not look or act particularly sick always, so that treating a fever depends on the degree of discomfort. If child is uncomfortable or restless, then the following procedures are recommended:

Encourage your child to drink fluids – milk, water or juice.

Dress your child in lightweight clothing – one or two layers.

Use a light blanket if your child feels chilled.

Keep the room cool.

If your child is 6 months old or older, give your child acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others).

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What types of pain reliefs are advised?

Avoid pain relief medicines unless the child is in pain or discomfort.

Never give aspirin to children or teenagers.

Do not give Infants with less than one month any pain reliever until consulting a doctor.

Children aged 1 month or older may take paracetamol

Children aged 3 months or older (and weighing more than 5 kg) may take paracetamol or ibuprofen.

When to do sponging?

In most cases, using pain relief medicines would with proper treatment get children temperature to normal. Although, sometimes it does not work or works so slowly. For that, sponging is preferred over acetaminophen or ibuprofen if a child is known to be allergic to, or is unable to tolerate, antipyretic (anti-fever) drugs (a rare case). If a kid is extremely uncomfortable or vomiting, then it is advisable to combine sponging with acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

The proper mechanism for sponging a child is through placing him in a bath (tub or baby bath). Filling it with 1 to 2 inches of tepid water (85–90 F, or 29.4–32.2 C) in the basin. The water must be normal within the advised temperature, otherwise will provide negative results either when hot or when cold. If hot it will increase fever and if too cold, it will cause shivering.

Following the advised procedures will most likely treat the kid with no need to go to hospital and controlling the fever at the early stages at home. The whole process starts when using a thermometer (digital, ear, touchless “forehead”) and recognizing the high temperature then including Keeping fluids up, dress in light clothing, keep the room cool, consider pain relief and if needed do sponging otherwise go to the doctor if the temperature did not go down.  

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