Every parent knows the scary feeling of having a baby or toddler with a fever. There are few things that cause as much concern as when your little one comes down with a fever. However, most of the time, a fever isn’t something to worry too much about. If your child is running a fever between 100 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s usually a good sign that their body is trying to fight off an infection. This is a normal, healthy response by the body. If their fever is making them uncomfortable though, there are some simple steps that you can take at home to try to lower their fever naturally and safely to provide them with relief.
If your little one is running a fever that is higher than 103 degrees Fahrenheit for more than a few hours, isn’t able to keep any fluids down, appears to have a stiff neck, or seems confused or disoriented, then you should immediately take your child to the doctor or emergency room.
For babies younger than 3 months old, you should take them to the doctor if they have a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher. For babies 3-6 months old, you should take them to the doctor if they have a fever over 101 degrees.
Following are a some of the natural home remedies you can use at home to try to lower your child’s fever if they are experiencing too much discomfort.
Use a Cold Compress
Wet, cool washcloths or towels can provide immediately relief and help to reduce your child’s temperature. Place them on your child’s forehead, wrists, or other areas of the body where blood vessels are near the surface of the skin. This is an ideal home remedy to help cool your child and make them feel much more comfortable.
Ice Cube, Frozen Treats, and Plenty of Fluids
Ice cold treats like ice cubes, ice chips, and popsicles can help cool down the internal body temperature of babies and toddlers. Also, giving them frozen treats to suck on can help to ensure that they stay hydrated, which is critical when they have a fever.
If they are suffering from an upset stomach, as well, they may not want to drink anything. However, even giving them tiny amounts of water or juice throughout the day or night can help keep them adequately hydrated, as well as help to lower their body temperature.
Cold items, such as ice cubes, ice chips, and popsicles can act to help cool their internal body temperature and ensure they stay hydrated, which is very important when they have a fever. This can sometimes be difficult if they are suffering from an upset stomach, but even providing small amounts water every so often can aid in maintaining hydration and moderating body temperature.
Provide Touch and Physical Comfort
Whenever your child is in pain or discomfort, giving them plenty of hugs, holding them, and snuggling is always a good thing. Having a fever is no exception. The loving touch and comfort of a parent is known to have powerful soothing and healing effects. It will not only make them feel much better, but you, as well.
Give Them a Lukewarm Bath
A lukewarm bath is a great way to make your child more comfortable and help reduce their fever. As the bathwater evaporates from their skin, it acts to help cool down body temperature. However, do not use cold water for a bath. If the water is too cold, it can cause your child to get a chill and shiver, which can actually cause their temperature to increase.
Give Them a Sponge Bath
If your little one doesn’t want to take a bath, or if you do not want to place them in the bathtub, you can give them a sponge bath using lukewarm water instead. A sponge bath serves the same purpose as a regular bath in helping to naturally lower their fever and provide relief.
Keep Them Dressed in Light Clothing
When your child is suffering from a fever, keep them dressed in clothes which are appropriate for the time of year. If they are too uncomfortable, you can remove a layer of clothing to help them cool down. Again, try to avoid letting your child get too cold, which can cause shivering and raise their body temperature.
Medications for a Fever
As a last resort, if your child’s temperature remains high, or they are experiencing excessive discomfort, it is generally considered safe to give toddlers over-the-counter medicines to help reduce their fever. A common technique is to give alternating doses of acetaminophen (children’s Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Children’s Motrin). Always check with your physician or pediatrician to make sure that giving your child medication is safe. Find out the exact dosages your child should take based on their age and weight.
Even though a fever is rarely something serious, it is hard to not worry when your child has one. However, using these natural home remedies to treat your baby or toddler when they have a fever can help both you, and them, feel much better.