Fever is a common concern which prompts a parent to bring their child to the emergency department or urgent care. It is not life-threatening unless it is persistently high.
Most healthy children can tolerate a fever well since it is usually a normal response of a child’s immune system to a virus or bacterial infection.
What Causes Fever In Children
Some common reasons that children get a fever include:
- Bacterial infections
- Viral infections
- Use of illicit drugs
- Illnesses related to allergies and heat exposure
- Side effects of medications
- Urinary tract infections
- Body’s response to immunization or vaccines
- Ear infections
- An unhygienic lifestyle
- Certain inflammatory diseases
- A sudden change in the weather
What Are The Symptoms Of Fever In Children
Children can suffer from a low-grade or high-grade fever.
In the case of a low-grade fever, the body temperature is slightly elevated above normal. This is generally between 98.8°F (37.1°C) and 100.6°F (38.1°C). While a high-grade fever in children over 3 months old is a rectal temperature of 102°F (38.9°C) or higher.
The general symptoms associated with a fever in children include chills, aches, headaches, dehydration, weakness or lack of energy, sweating or feeling flushed, loss of appetite, and generally feeling ill. Small children may also become fussy, irritable, lethargic and cry more often.
Children with fever don’t always need to be given medication to lower it. You can use some home remedies for your child to be more comfortable and help ease the symptoms. These natural remedies can support the immune system and increase your child’s comfort level until they are well again.
Here Are The Home Remedies For A Fever In Children
Apply Cold Compress
Cooling the body from the outside is very effective at reducing body temperature.
When your child develops a fever, what you have to do first is to place a cool, wet washcloth on their forehead. As the water from the wet washcloth evaporates from the skin, it will draw the fever out and the temperature will come down quickly.
A lukewarm bath can be given to your child if he develops a fever. It will help regulate the body temperature and help your child relax and sleep better. A cold bath must be avoided as it can shock the body into trying to raise the internal thermostat even more.
You can give your child a lukewarm tub bath or sponge bath. It can be done 2 or 3 times a day.
Another option is to add a few tablespoons of vinegar to a bowl of warm water, soak a washcloth in it, wring it and use it as a compress on your child’s forehead.
Keep Your Child In A Cool Place
You need to keep your child in a cool place when he has a fever. The temperature of the room should not be too hot or too cold. Try to keep your child’s room at a comfortable temperature between 70° and 74°F degrees (21.1° to 23.3°C).
If using a fan, keep it on a low setting and make sure your child is not sleeping directly under the fan.
If using an air conditioner, keep the temperature at a comfortable level and make sure your child is not shivering, as this can raise the body’s temperature.
Also, avoid using the room heater nonstop, as it can make your baby overheated.
Dress your child in light clothing and have them sleep with only a sheet or light blanket.
Rest And Sleep
Adequate rest and sleep is a must.
Once your child rests, his body can dedicate energy to healing rather than distributing it to deal with other activities.
Sleeping enables the body to have the energy and time it needs to fight the incoming germs.
But if your child refuses to sleep or cannot sit in one place for a long time, pick activities that can restrict movement like solving puzzles, coloring, or playing with a favorite toy. You can also try switching on the television and play your child’s favorite movie or videos.
Drink More Fluids
Children suffering from a fever need to increase their fluid intake. Fluids will help cool them down and replace the fluid lost through sweating. Also, this will prevent dehydration which may delay recovery and lead to various other complications.
Give your child an oral rehydration solution (either homemade or readily available in the market) along with lukewarm water from time to time. Or you can also give them homemade fruit juices, ice pops, cold milk, coconut water, fruits rich in water, yogurt, and broth.
Ginger is effective against any kind of infection. It helps the body expel heat, which in turn helps reduce a fever. It has antiviral and antibacterial properties and can boost the immune system that aids in the recovery process.
Mix together a ½ teaspoon of ginger juice, 1 tablespoon of honey, and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Give this to your child 2 or 3 times daily until the fever is gone.
Another option is to mix 2 tablespoons of ginger powder into a bathtub filled with warm water. Soak your child in this bathwater for 10 minutes. Pat dry and cover your child completely with a blanket. Soon, your child will start sweating and the fever will come down.
Basil has antibiotic and antibacterial properties that can help get rid of the bacteria that may be causing the fever. It can also boost the immune system which is important for the healing process.
Put a handful of basil leaves in 2 cups of water. Boil it until the solution is reduced to half. Add a little honey and give it to your child, a few times a day.
You may also let your child chew a washed basil at regular intervals.
When To See Your Doctor
You must take your child to the doctor or emergency room quickly if they have a very high fever of 104°F (over 40°C) or more and have symptoms like chattering teeth, shivering or shaking uncontrollably, confused, trouble breathing, getting or seeming floppy or complaining of leg pain.
Also, call the doctor right away if your child is younger than 3 months old and has a fever.