Fever and Viruses
When Should you use Fever Reduction medication
Join Dr. Tanya Altmann as she reviews fevers amongst babies and when is a good time to introduce fever reduction medication. If your child is over three months old and experiencing a fever, normally you can let the fever run its course. But if your child is absolutely miserable, not sleeping well, and not keeping down fluids to stay hydrated, this could be cause for treatment, such as an appropriate dose of acetaminophen or, if your child is over six months old, ibuprofen.
- Not all fevers need to be treated with medication. A fever is not a disease, it's just a symptom of an illness. So, as long as your baby is over three months of age, and they're acting okay, and they're drinking fluids, you can let the fever run its course. Now, if the fever is making your child miserable, if they're not drinking fluids, if they're achy and uncomfortable, or they're not sleeping well, then that's a reason to treat their fever. You can treat the fever with an appropriate dose of acetaminophen, or, if your infant is over six months of
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age, Ibuprofen is another choice. Whenever you give your child a medication, make sure you know how much to give them. Follow the directions on the box and use the measuring device that comes with the medication. And, most importantly, keep the medication out of reach, so, that way, your child doesn't get into it, and accidentally take too much. And, if you have any question about giving your child medication or what does to use, ask your pediatrician. A fever is rarely dangerous, although I know it can be scary for a parent when your little one feels warm. But a fever is not a disease itself, it's a symptom of an illness. So, having a fever, as long as your baby is over three months of age, is not a serious thing. So, I usually tell parents to relax, try not to get that fever phobia that's so common. Now, for newborns under three months of age, a fever, which is a temperature of 100.4 or higher, can be serious, and, if that's the case, I do give you permission to worry. You must call your pediatrician or even take your baby to the emergency room, because little ones can get sick very quickly. But as long as your infant is over three months of age, it doesn't matter as much what that number on the thermometer reads. When parents call me, if the fever's 101 or 104, what I care more about is how your child is acting. So, if your child's acting okay, they're keeping fluids down, then you don't need to worry. You can relax, keep them home, and keep an eye on them for a few days. Now, signs that you do need to worry is if your child has a fever that lasts for more than three or four days. If they look really sick, if they're not keeping fluids down, if they're vomiting a lot, or they're in extreme pain, then call your doctor and have them be seen right away.
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