Fever is the natural response of the body to infections or injuries. This bodily response stimulates the body to generate increased white blood cells and antibodies to help fight off the infection.
In studies conducted, it is believed that it is vital to allow a mild fever to run its course. On the other hand, a toddler with fever can be disturbing. Even though low fever does not require treatment, reducing the temperature can help provide comfort to the child. Remember that high fever can be serious and life-threatening. With this in mind, the child should be assessed by a doctor.
Assess the fever of the toddler
Take the temperature of the toddler using a digital thermometer. The most accurate reading is by taking it rectally, but you can also take it under the armpit.
- The normal body temperature for toddlers is 97-99 degrees F.
- A low-grade fever among toddlers is within the 99-100.9 degrees F range.
- The temperature of 101-103.5 degrees F can indicate a condition that requires monitoring. Most cases within this range are caused by a minor infection or viruses.
- Temperature higher than 103.6 degrees F requires treatment. If the fever does not reduce using simple care measures, a visit to the doctor can wait until the morning. If not, bring the toddler to the nearest emergency department.
Bathe the toddler with fever
Bathing the toddler is an effective measure to reduce the fever and works rapidly than medications.
- It is recommended to use lukewarm water. Do not use cold water to reduce the fever.
- Do not mix alcohol in the bath water used.
- You can place a damp and cool towel or washcloth on the forehead of the toddler to reduce the fever.
Increased fluid intake
Always bear in mind that fever can lead to dehydration which has the potential to become a serious health condition. It is vital to provide the toddler with plenty of fluids to keep him/her hydrated.
Water is always the ideal choice but other options also work if the child is picky. You can also offer the child fruit juices that are diluted with water. You can also provide an electrolyte solution such as Pedialyte.
Always watch out for indications of dehydration. If the fever is higher, there is a higher risk for dehydration. The indications of dehydration include concentrated urine, dry mouth and lips, infrequent urination, sunken eyes and lack of tears when crying. Once any of these indications of dehydration are present in a toddler, seek immediate medical care.
The toddler should be dressed in lightweight clothes for optimal temperature control. Wearing thin and loose clothes will allow air to circulate freely. You can provide the child with a thin blanket if he/she feels cold.
An electric fan can be used to move the air quickly and also help taking the heat away from the skin. Just remember not to aim the fan directly at the child.
Medications for fever can be used to make the child more comfortable or bring down a high fever that can trigger serious complications.
When it comes to low to mild fever, it is usually left on its own unless other possible complications are present. As for moderate to high fever or those that are linked with other signs and symptoms, they can be managed with fever-reducing medications.