A Guide To Treating Your Child’s Fever

A fever in children is quite common, and it’s not necessarily dangerous in most cases. A fever is considered 100.4 or higher, and it’s the body’s way of providing a defense from viruses or bacteria. To treat or not to treat and how is the question. Keep reading to learn a guide to treating your child’s fever. 

Child laying on couch with a fever.

When To Treat Your Child’s Fever

Watching your child’s behavior is key to knowing when to treat a fever. The number on the thermometer matters less than how your child looks or acts plus how long the fever has lasted. Not every fever needs treatment.

If you do decide to treat the fever, here are some guidelines:

  • Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen are common medications to reduce fever. Read ALL labels carefully.
  • You can give Acetaminophen at any age, but not Ibuprofen if your child is under 6 months.
  • Pay attention that you are giving appropriate doses based on weight.
  • Be careful not to overmedicate.
  • Alternating acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Motrin) can be done if needed. You can alternate them every 3 hours.
  • Keep your child hydrated even more than usual. Juice and popsicles will help also.
  • Dress your child in appropriate clothing – do not over-bundle them.

Be aware that treating the fever will not cure any infection they are fighting. It simply relieves some of their discomfort. In most cases a fever will go away in a few days.

What NOT To Do

Never give children aspirin. Do not give your child a cool bath because it can cause shivering and discomfort. Never, never use rubbing alcohol to reduce a fever. It is absorbed into the skin and can cause other problems including a coma. 

When To Contact Elmwood Pediatric Group

  • If your child is 3 months old or younger with a fever of 100.4, call us.
  • If your child has a fever of 104 or higher, call us.
  • If your child is s signs of dehydration: no tears when crying, less frequent urination, dry mouth and tongue, sunken eyes, listlessness.
  • If there are any significant behavior changes. Fussy and crying that can’t be soothed.
  • If your child has an earache, sore throat, stiff neck, headache, or is vomiting with diarrhea.

If you have more questions or you are not sure what to do about your child’s fever, call Elmwood Pediatric Group at (585) 244-9720.

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