What to know about Fevers

School is in session and fall and winter are just around the corner.  If preschool is your child’s first experience around a large group of kids, they may have already had the sniffles as their bodies start building up that immune system. It can be heart wrenching and a little scary when you child is sick, but a fever is (generally) a good sign that your child’s immune system is hard at work!

 Fevers are the body's natural response to fighting an infectious process. We have been conditioned year after year by advertisements showing sick children being administered a fever reducer and suddenly cut to images of these children playing outside as if they aren't fighting an illness. The reality is fever reducers (acetaminophen and ibuprofen) come with the risk of serious side effects if used in excess and they limit the body's own immune system for fighting infections. There is great value in allowing the body's immune system to fight pathogens. Fever reducers should only be used if the child is uncomfortable or has a history of febrile (fever) seizures. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests the following techniques for when your child is fighting an illness:

·  Keep your child’s room and your home comfortably cool and dress him lightly.

·  Encourage him to drink extra fluid or other liquids (water, diluted fruit juices, commercially prepared oral electrolyte solutions, gelatin [Jell-O], Popsicles, etc.).

·  If the room is warm or stuffy, place a fan nearby to keep cool air moving. 

·  Your child does not have to stay in his room or in bed when he has a fever. He can be up and about the house but should not run around and overexert himself. 

·  If the fever is a symptom of a highly contagious disease (e.g., chickenpox or the flu), keep your child away from other children, elderly people, or people who may not be able to fight infection well, such as those with cancer.

To access the article in its entirety, click here: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/fever/Pages/Treating-a-Fever-Without-Medicine.aspx