First Aid: Fever
Parents might worry when a child's temperature rises, but fever itself causes no harm and can actually be a good thing — often, it's the body's way of fighting infections.
Signs and Symptoms
A child who has a fever might be:
- warm to the touch
What to Do
It's best to keep a child home from school or childcare until the temperature has been normal for at least 24 hours. If your child is uncomfortable, here are some ways to relieve symptoms:
- Offer plenty of liquids to avoid dehydration.
- Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen based on the doctor's recommendations. Do not give aspirin.
- Never use rubbing alcohol or cold baths to bring the fever down.
- Dress your child in lightweight clothing and cover with a light sheet or blanket.
- Let your child eat what he or she wants, and don't force eating if your child doesn't feel like it.
- If your child also is vomiting and/or has diarrhea, ask the doctor if you should give a children's oral rehydration solution (also called oral electrolyte solution or oral electrolyte maintenance solution).
- Make sure your child gets plenty of rest.
Get Medical Care if:
- an infant younger than 3 months old has a temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher
- an older child has a fever and:
Fevers are unavoidable. The key is to make your child as comfortable as possible until the fever passes, and get medical treatment when needed.