HOW TO REDUCE YOUR CHILD'S FEVER
DON'T GIVE ASPIRIN TO A CHILD TO REDUCE FEVER!
Fever is the body's reaction to infection or inflammation. It is not a disease in itself, but rather a sign of a problem.
The normal temperature in children varies with activity, eating, and the time of day, ranging from 99F (37.2C) to 100F (37.8C) rectally in healthy children. Rectal thermometers are the most accurate and are the preferred method of taking temperature in children under 10 years old. The thermometer has its line at 98.6F (37C), which is not the normal rectal temperature.
Fluids are the only important requirement in the diet of a child with fever. Provide your child with water, weak tea, ginger ale, broth, nectar, or liquid Jello. Some of the best-tolerated foods are saltines, cereal, applesauce, bananas, carrots, and lean meat. Offer food, but don't force it. Fluids in small, frequent doses are all that is important for the first few days.
HOW TO REDUCE FEVER
If your child's temperature rises to 103F (39.4C) or above, your doctor may recommend sponging the child's body with warm water to reduce the fever temporarily. This is one common technique:
Remove all clothing and lay the child down on a towel.
Fill a basin with warm water.
Dip a washcloth (preferably a new one that is still a little bit rough) into the warm water. Wring it out until it is damp but not soggy.
Using the washcloth, begin massaging all over the body, covering as much surface as you can. The child should not be dripping wet, but should feel moist all over.
Continue constant gentle massaging. This increases the flow of warm blood to the skin.
When the washcloth begins to cool off, dip it into the warm water and wring it out again.
Repeat massages. In 5 to 15 minutes, the child's temperature will probably be on its way down.
Don't use a fan, alcohol, ice, or cold water, and don't use cold baths or leave your child covered with wet towels!
Don't give the child aspirin because of the danger of developing Reye's syndrome. (See REYE'S SYNDROME.)
When giving acetaminophen, follow dosage instructions on the package carefully.