How do you treat a fever?

Your 24-7 NurseBaptist Health Line nurses answer all kinds of healthcare questions free 24/7 for all ages on the general line at (270) 575-2918.

For expecting moms and parents of young children, the special StorkLine is available at (270) 575-BABY or you can leave questions here for answers on Wednesdays.

Recently, a mom called asking if she should be concerned about her child’s fever.

Parents often worry about fever, but it is an indicator that a child’s immune system is working as it should in fighting off a viral or bacterial infection.

Children can run anything from a low-grade fever (102 or less) to a high fever with a cold. We treat a fever over 100.4 because it makes the child uncomfortable. The child needs to see a doctor if a fever of 102 or greater lasts longer than three days. Ear infections and sore throats can often cause high fever in young children.

Child with feverParents also should call the doctor when:

  • A fever exists with a rash because it can indicate a bacterial infection.
  • A child less than 3 months old has a fever. Don’t give children this young any fever medications.
  • A fever causes a febrile seizure because a child’s temperature rises so fast.

Those children need to be seen in the Emergency room right away. Most children outgrow this danger by about age 3.

How to treat a fever:

  • Remove most of their clothes. A diaper or underwear and lightweight shirt is enough.
  • Do not cover with blankets. If a child is shivering, hold him or her close to you in your lap or cover with a sheet. Remove coverings and don’t hold too close when the chill passes. When someone with a fever is having a chill, the fever is rising. They may feel cold, but we don’t want to hold the heat in.
  • Keep the surroundings cool.
  • Give plenty of cool liquids to drink.
  • Call the child’s doctor or the Baptist Health Line to inquire about fever-reducing medicine dosages. Medicine dosages are based on weight, and children grow too fast to rely on what you have been told previously. It is OK to give them the previous dose while you are waiting for a call back.

Our nurses welcome your questions, and we’ll answer them here every Wednesday. Remember we can answer health questions for all ages, not just children.

About Baptist Health Paducah

Baptist Health Paducah is a regional medical and referral center, serving about 200,000 patients a year from four states. With more than 1,800 employees and 200 physicians, it offers a full range of services, including cardiac and cancer care, diagnostic imaging, women’s and children’s services, surgery, emergency treatment, rehabilitation and more. Since its humble beginning in 1953, Baptist Health Paducah has grown from 117 beds to 349 beds on a campus covering eight square blocks.
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