Written by: Lindsay Peltsch, RN, BScN
With the return to school and cooler weather, comes the return of our children having fevers. Sometimes as parent’s you know the cause, sometimes its a bit of a mystery. Whatever the cause, when your child is miserable with a fever you can feel desperate to bring it down. Read on for some tried and true KixTips from our Pediatric Nurses on how to react when your child has a fever.
WAIT! ONE MORE THING…
It’s important to remember that while the number can be scary, especially if it is high, fevers are not dangerous. In fact, they are part of your body’s way of fighting the illness. There is absolutely no need to treat the fever if your child is not feeling unwell from it! The real title of this blog should be “How to Control the unpleasant SYMPTOMS that your child may get with a fever” as we don’t want your little one feeling miserable.
Treat the child not the number!
Remember, if you’re ever unsure or concerned about your child, it’s always best to speak with a KixNurse or other healthcare professional for guidance.
KixTip 1: Measure the Temperature!
A fever is 38℃ or above. It is important to always measure the temperature and track the duration and how your child’s body is fighting the infection. Use an accurate thermometer for your child’s age.
Heads Up!: No-touch infrared and ear thermometers can be inaccurate and difficult to use. Our first choices are rectal, oral or axilla (armpit), depending on their age.
KixTip 2: Use Medication!
Acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) and/or ibuprofen (e.g., Advil) can help lower fever and relieve discomfort/pain caused by the infection they are fighting. Follow the dosing instructions for the child’s age and weight. Note: Babies with a fever under 3 months of age should be seen in urgent care or an emergency room no matter what other symptoms they do or don’t have.
KixTip 3: Keep your child cool!
Dress them in light clothes and use a light blanket. Keep the room at a comfortable temperature.
KixTip 4: Keep them hydrated!
Offer a variety of fluids frequently throughout the day. Small frequent sips of water, clear soups, and oral rehydration solutions will help prevent dehydration. Keep an eye on how often they pee, if they haven’t peed or had a wet diaper in 6 or more hours, check in with your KixNurse!
KixTip 5: Give them a bath!
BRRRR!: DON’T put them in a cold bath! Would you want a cold bath when you have a fever? It’s not terribly effective and very upsetting for your sick child. Instead, either skip the bath, or have the bath closer to room temperature and then let them air dry! The water evaporating helps cool them!
KixTip 5: Let them rest!
Make sure the child gets enough rest to help the body fight off the infection. It is completely normal for them to want to sleep more when fighting the infection as long as they wake and interact appropriately and are staying hydrated.
When to Speak to a KixNurse or Seek Medical Attention:
- High-Risk Children: Babies under 3 months of age or children with complex medical concerns
- Difficulty Breathing: If the child is having trouble breathing, it’s an emergency!
- Persistent Fever: Lasting longer than 5-7 days
- Persistent Vomiting/Diarrhea: Dehydration can be dangerous
- Lethargy/Irritability: If your child is difficult to wake up or extremely fussy
- Seizures: If the child has a seizure due to the fever
- Rash: Red or Purple non-blanching rashes can be a sign of serious infections
Remember, if you’re ever unsure or concerned about your child’s fever, it’s always best to speak with a KixNurse or other healthcare professional for guidance.
Whenever your child is sick, it’s not only worrying but it can throw the whole family schedule into chaos. Whether you have a family doctor or pediatrician, or not. The waits can be frustrating, and the time off for appointments and sick days stressful. When you are worried about your child, even a few days can feel like forever. Wouldn’t it be great to have knowledgeable practitioners available 24/7 to help navigate this? Just a quick message or video chat away from peace of mind?
WE HAVE YOU COVERED!!
With our Kix360 service, we have Pediatric Nurses available 24/7 to give support and assess your child. If your child needs more, our Nurse Practitioners can assess, diagnose, prescribe and get your child on the road to recovery. We even liaise with your existing HCP provider (if you have one) so your child continues to have the complete circle of care they deserve! Join our Kix360 service today!