Tuesday, 1 March 2011

4 ways to treat a fever before reaching for the paracetamol

After reading an article in The Telegraph yesterday, entitled, 'Fever medicines given to children too readily', I thought it might be helpful to think of a few things parents can do to help a young child suffering from a fever before reaching for the paracetamol or ibuprofen. As the article explains, when we get a fever, it is our body's way of dealing with an infection and fighting against it. It's not therefore immediate cause for alarm but there are a few things we can do to try to make our baby or young child more comfortable:

  1. Ensure they stay hydrayted.

  2. If they are off their food, try something very easy to eat like a cool fruit puree that will go down easily and give them some energy.

  3. Monitor their room and body temperature. You want to prevent them from getting cold but equally you don't want them to overheat so stick to light layers.

  4. Apply a lukewarm flannel to their forehead but not elsewhere on their body, as it may cause shivering.

In most cases, fevers will subside within a day but obviously check your child's temperature regularly and if you have any cause for concern, take them to your doctor or A&E.

As the article points out, it's not a matter of never using paracetamol or ibuprofen with your child but being aware that in the case of a simple fever with no other symptoms or complications, it is not always necessary. If your child seems well in themselves, apart from having a fever, then it's probably a good idea to let their body deal with the virus or infection that has caused the fever and just try the above four suggestions to keep them comfortable in the meantime.

Can you think of anything else that can be effective in managing a simple fever in a baby or young child?


Photo credit


1 comment:

  1. I've found over the years that a low grade fever is better left alone. But when the temperature spikes waiting to give the medicine only makes things worse as it depletes the body of water and precious energy.
    Paracetamol is a medicine that should be used wisely -like all medicines- but that is wonderful in times of crisis.


Thank you for reading. I'd love to have your comments and thoughts!