Are you ready for cold and flu season? Be prepared with your Parent Guide to Treating Fever in Kids. This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
Parent Guide to Treating Fever in Kids
Can you hear the sniffles yet? Cold and flu season is back and with it, fever. I don’t know about you, but when my kids spike a fever, I get worried…even with my background as a pediatric nurse. Remember my viral Theme Park Nightmare post? But being informed, knowing what to look for, and knowing how to treat your kids quickly and safely can make a difference in an emergency situation.
So today I’m sharing my Parent Guide to Treating Fever in Kids, answering your common questions for medicine dosing, when to treat, when to call the doctor and alternative treatment options.
Should I treat every fever?
Treat your child’s symptoms – are they acting playful even with fever – or do they seem tired and unwell? According to Dr. Swanson “Fever is a natural response of the immune system – it’s a response to illness, not illness itself.” Fever isn’t enough. Look at the whole picture.
When should I take my child to the pediatrician?
Dr. Swanson recommends seeing the pediatrician if the fever persists after 3 days in infants and children, in any fever in a baby 3 months or younger, or any fever over 104.
What is the right fever medicine dose for my child?
Before offering your child an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever, remember to always read the Drug Facts label first, to ensure correct dosage and to make sure you aren’t double dosing because some cold and flu OTCs contain acetaminophen.
According to a study conducted by the National Institute for Health (NIH), 8 out of 10 parents have given the wrong dose of liquid medicine by accident. Only use the dosing device that comes with the medicine to ensure proper dosing. Never ever use a kitchen spoon – it is never appropriate to substitute for the dosing device that comes with the medicine. Find more tips on safe dosing here. And remember to dose your child based on their weight, not their age.
Should I alternate between ibuprofen and acetaminophen?
If you decide to alternate between these two medicines, make sure you are keeping track of dosage and time. Make sure you start with one medicine and then offer the other medicine next, about 3-4 hours later. Dr. Swanson wants to remind parents that neither medicine should be used for more than 72 hours without consulting a physician. Click here for a helpful dosing chart based on child’s weight, for ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
What else can I do?
As a mama bear, I know how it feels when your child has a fever. We can’t sit around and wait. We have to do. What else can we do to help our child’s fever? Here are a few things us fellow mama bears can do to help:
- Offer plenty of fluids to keep your child hydrated
- Give chilled foods such as ice pops, yogurt, ice
- Apply a damp, cool washcloth to your child’s forehead and back of neck
- Give your child a lukewarm bath or sponge bath
- Keep child cool – avoid heat/intense sunlight, remove extra layers of clothing, use a fan
- Encourage rest
Fevers are a real concern when it comes to parenting our kids. We feel for kids and want to protect them from any and all sickness. Pay attention to all of your child’s symptoms, not just the fever. Know your child’s weight. Keep track of any and all medicine administration. Have alternative fever reducing actions standing by. Bookmark KnowYourOTCs.org. Having the right tips and tools can mean the difference in getting our kids healthier sooner.
What tips do you have for treating fever in kids?
I am a #KnowYourOTCs blogging ambassador, compensated by the CHPA’s Educational Foundation in support of KnowYourOTCs.org. All opinions are my own. No little hands touched the OTC medicines (I’m a pediatric nurse, remember?) and teeth were promptly brushed following these pictures. Be sure to follow Raising Whasians via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube for more family travel tips, delicious recipes, and kid crafts.
AnnMarie John says
My youngest seems to be always getting sick and it’s really important for me to know when to take her to the doctor and when to just let her rest! This is such a helpful post for parents, especially first timers!
Janet W. says
This is great information! The flu is spreading at my grandsons’ school and over 260 kids were absent yesterday!
Cynthia C says
I didn’t know the tip about knowing the child’s weight to determine dosage. That’s good information.
Pamela Gurganus says
This is a great guide! I usually am confident in knowing when to treat, but am unsure of knowing when to call a doctor. Thank you for sharing this!
Amy D says
These are such great tips, as I never know if and when I should take my daughters to the pediatrcian when they have a fever. I also didn’t know that I should give IBUPROFEN or ACETAMINOPHEN more than 72 hours without consulting a doctor. This is a really bad colr / flu season. I’ve been sick for awhile. 🙁