How to Treat Fever in Kids?


How to Treat Fever in Kids?

Fever is not an illness but it is one part of the body’s natural defense against infection. Read full article to get information on how and when to treat fever, how to accurately measure a child’s temperature, signs and symptoms of fever etc.

Fever is a normal response of the body against infection. Nearly every child will develop a fever at some point and it is a frightening thing for a parent. The human body does a fairly good job of regulating temperature of body. Normally, the temperature of the human body is in the range of 96-100 degree Fahrenheit. Temperature of the body varies by several degrees throughout the day in a normal, healthy state. Generally, it is coolest in the morning and warmest in the evening.

Fever takes place when the temperature of the body is elevated as a result of the body’s thermostat being reset to a higher than usual temperature. In child, low-grade fevers having temperature below 102 degrees F can be treated at home, with or without medication. It can become very dangerous if it surpasses temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius or 104 degree Fahrenheit. The body’s temperature can also rise for reasons other than fever such as; runners will raise their temperature when they run on a hot day. This is not a fever but it can be called as hyperthermia where the body thermostat remains set at “normal”.

Fever definition:

There is no single value that is defined as fever due to the normal variation in body temperature. Following are generally accepted values for fever.

* Oral temperature above 99.5ºF (37.5ºC)
* Rectal temperature above 100.4ºF (38ºC)
* Axillary (armpit) temperature above 99ºF (37.2ºC)
* Ear temperature above 100.4º (38ºC) in rectal mode or 99.5ºF (37.5ºC) in oral mode
* Digital pacifier temperature above 100ºF (37.8ºC)

Causes of Fever in Children:

The most common cause of fever in children is infection. The most likely illnesses to cause fever include common viral and bacterial illnesses like colds, gastroenteritis, ear infections, croup, and bronchiolitis.

Packing a child who is less than three months old in too many clothes or blankets can raise the child’s temperature slightly. But, a rectal temperature of 101ºF (38.5ºC) or greater is not likely to be associated to packing and should be assessed.

Immunizations in some child can also cause fever. Depending upon which vaccination was given, the timing of the fever varies.

Probably, teething does not cause fever but in some particular studies have shown that temperatures of 101.3ºF (38.5ºC) or greater in teething.

Measurement of Child’s Temperature:

A rectal temperature is the most accurate in all children. When the proper technique is used, it is probable to accurately measure the temperature in the mouth (for children older than four or five years) or ear (for children older than six months). However, in a child older than 3 months, it’s fine to take it orally unless your doctor directs otherwise.

For an accurate measurement of your child’s temperature, follow the tips which are given below.

* Before taking your child’s temperature, clean the thermometer in lukewarm soapy water and rinse it well with cool water.
* Don’t bundle your baby or child up too tightly before taking his or her temperature.
* Never leave your child alone while using a thermometer.
* After you’re done using a thermometer, clean it with rubbing alcohol or wash it in cool, soapy water.
* Be sure to label your rectal thermometer so that it isn’t accidentally used in your child’s mouth.
* If you’re taking your child’s temperature orally, wait at least 20 minutes after your child finishes eating or drinking hot or cold foods and beverages to take his or her temperature.
* Don’t take your child’s temperature right after he or she has had a bath.

Treatment of fever in Kids:

Without consulting your doctor, don’t give any medicine to babies who are younger than 2 months of age.


Acetaminophen (one brand name: Children’s or Infants’ Tylenol) relieves pain and lowers fever. For the correct dosage for your child, check the package label or consult your doctor. The correct dosage of the medication depends on your child’s weight and age.

Another medicine, Ibuprofen can also be used to lower a fever in children over 6 months of age. Your doctor will tell you the correct dose for your child, so talk to your doctor before giving ibuprofen (two brand names: Children’s Advil, Children’s Motrin) to your child.

Sponging and baths:

Sponging involves placing a child in a bathtub and utilizing a damp washcloth to be relevant comfortably warm (85ºF or 30ºC) water to the entire body. As water evaporates from the skin surface, cooling of the body take place. So, the child should not be bundled in wet towels or submerged in water when this method of cooling is used.

Sponging is not as effective as anti-fever medications such as acetaminophen and so it is rarely used. Sponging should always be used in conjunction with anti-fever medications, such as acetaminophen, unless the child cannot tolerate these medications.

It is never recommended to use sponging with alcohol because alcohol fumes may be absorbed through the child’s skin or lungs.

Increase fluids:

Fever can increase a child’s risk of becoming dehydrated. Parents should encourage their child to drink an adequate amount of fluids to reduce the risk of dehydration. Supply your child with lots of fluids including water, juices, soups or gelatin to keep them well hydrated. The parent should consult the child’s healthcare provider if the child is unwilling or unable to drink fluids for more than a few hours.


Tiredness and achy mostly experienced by child in fever. Parents should encourage their child to rest as much as the child wants. It is not essential to force the child to sleep or rest if he or she starts to feel better. When the temperature has been normal for 24 hours, children may return to school or other activities.

Consult your doctor if your child has the following symptoms with their fever:

* More sleepy than usual
* Complaining of a stiff neck or light hurting their eyes.
* Vomiting and refusing to drink much
* If your child is in pain
* Rash
* Problems with breathing

Key points to remember:

* If your child seems well and is happy there is no need to treat a fever.
* Fevers are common in children.
* If your child is under 3 months and has a fever above 38 degreeC, take them to the doctor to be checked.
* Watch your child for signs of the illness getting worse.
* If your child seems unwell take their temperature. The normal temperature range is up to 38 degreeC.
* If your child is miserable, treatment is needed to comfort your child. Give clear fluids and paracetamol. The response of the fever to treatment does not matter.

Doctor Explaining Fever in Children (Video from Youtube):