What to Do if Your Child Has a Fever

Fevers are a natural part of childhood, with most children suffering from a handful or more each and every year. A fever is the body’s reaction to fighting and killing germs such as bacteria and viruses. While a fever is an effective way to kill off these unwelcome guests, there may be times in which you will need to control your child’s temperature to keep them safe and healthy. Luckily there are a selection of paracetamol designed for children to provide them with relief of their symptoms.

Child Has a Fever

When to Treat Your Child’s Fever

Your child officially has a fever when:

  • Your child’s oral temperature is 38 degrees Celsius or higher
  • Your child’s rectal temperature is 38 degrees Celsius or higher
  • Your child’s armpit temperature is 37.4 degrees Celsius or higher

It is important for parents and caregivers to understand that your child having a fever does not mean that you must immediately reduce their temperature. Remember that an elevated body temperature is the body’s healthy response to fighting off viruses and bacterial infections. The only time you will need to treat your child’s fever is if your child feels uncomfortable and is unable to get rest because of it.

Treat Your Child's Fever

What Type Of Thermometer Should I Use?

The most popular type of thermometer here in Australia is the digital thermometer. These thermometers are inexpensive, quick, and accurate, and may be able to be used orally, under the armpit, or in the bottom.

Electric ear thermometers are another top pick, being fast and easy to use. The drawbacks are that they are expensive and aren’t nearly as accurate for newborns and infants. Plastic strip thermometers can be a good solution, although they are also not very accurate.

Have an old glass mercury thermometer? Avoid using these on infants and children, as these thermometers pose a risk of exposing your child to mercury.

Thermometer Should I Use

Treating Your Child’s Fever

There are a number of different methods, both natural and over the counter remedies, which can be used to reduce your child’s fever.

Treating Your Child's Fever

Over the Counter Methods for Treating a Fever

There are a few over the counter medications available for treating your child’s temperature. One of the most common methods is to give your child a dose of age-appropriate ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help try to reduce her fever. Products that contain paracetamol for children are also an effective way to reduce your child’s temperature while reducing pain due to headaches, earaches, and toothaches. Many of these products are great tasting and are appropriate for children two to 12 (though some specific formulas exist for babies from six months to two years of age).

Methods for Treating a Fever

Natural Methods for Treating a Fever

Naturally treating your child’s fever can be effective, particularly when combined with an over the counter solution.

  • Give your child a lukewarm bath for 15 minutes (make sure the water does not get cold and remove your child if they begin to shiver)
  • Dress your child in light materials. Use a sheet rather than a duvet in bed
  • Offer your child plenty of fluids such as water and fruit juices. If your child is an infant, breastfeed your child or give formula regularly