Lets Talk about Fevers in Children

Lets Talk about Fevers in Children
Hey there!

I'm The Nurse Mom to five littles and have had our fair share of fevers. Now I know many people have whats called "fever phobia" and I used to have this too. In fact the first time my first child had a fever of 103, I brought her to the ER at two AM. She ended up having an ear infection!!!

Knowing that now, I would have never hauled off my baby to the ER at TWO AM. Educating myself on the knowledge of fevers is something that I have now been able to really feel confident and ready to jump into action or not with a fever!

It's ok though, to be afraid. Just acknowledge that its your fear, and move past it. Our bodies are designed perfectly to be capable of handling a fever, and in FACT this is the bodies natural response to an illness. 

***Keep in mind these tips are not for infants under 3 months of age. Newborns and fever are completely different and please talk with your pediatrician.***

There isn't a "one size fits all" in regards to a fever. Each body handles fevers differently so please do not compare your child to some one else's. 

There isn't any number on the thermometer that should require a fast trip to the ED or a call to the ambulance. Fever is a normal and healthy way for kids to fight off common illnesses, and their bodies are equipped to fight things off. Fever is their bodies immune system kicking into high gear to fight off the bacteria and viruses it has been exposed to and this is a GOOD thing. Seeing a high number does not mean that your child is sicker than a low number on the thermometer. 

How is your child feeling? Some kids with high fevers are still running around normally and some look very slugglish with a low fever. Keep an eye on your child and notice how they feel. 

Fevers do not always need to be treated with antibiotics or any medications for lowering the fever. When you continually lower their fevers with fever reducers, the body's immune system isn't able to do its job and fight off the bug. I only give tylenol or ibuprofen when they need a little break or to get a better nap for healing purposes. Treating the fever could also be beneficial to increase their hydration, some kids won't drink well when they feel yucky!

Use your judgement as a parent to when you think they could use a little break from the illness, but otherwise fever is good and nothing to be afraid of. There are times and certain circumstances when children have febrile seizures. This is something that occurs when a body's temperature rises VERY quickly and causes stress on the brain- which then leads to a febrile seizure. In those circumstances and some others you do need to keep the fevers low. Talk with your pediatrician if you are uncertain.

When you feel confident in treating a fever at home, your child will feel much more at ease as well. Remaining calm and knowing the right things to do to help your child is SO helpful!!!

A few other support ideas for you to do at home: A luke-warm bath with epsom salts like these, essential oils in a roller bottle that you can apply to their spine like peppermint or lavender, cool washcloth on their forehead, cooling forehead sticker pads like these.

This is not all inclusive to every fever, and as always you know your child best. Stick with your gut feeling and always take them in if you feel that you need to. Most fevers are very treatable at home, and you can usually wait until the fever breaks. You have the confidence and power within yourself!

Have a wonderful day,

Kara J

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