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Managing a Kid’s Fever Through the Night time

In case you are the mother or father of a child or toddler, this can be a well-known situation: A nasty chilly or flu has left your baby burning up with a fever all day. The pediatrician has assured you that with some TLC and maybe some fever remedy, the temperature would return to regular as quickly the an infection clears.

Now that it is bedtime, although, you are undecided what to do. Do you have to monitor your kid’s fever by the night time? Or is it higher to let sleeping infants lie, even sick ones? With few exceptions, letting your baby sleep is the higher alternative.

Illustration by Brianna Gilmartin, Verywell

Understanding Fevers

It is very important keep in mind that a fever—outlined in youngsters as a rectal temperature of 100.4 levels F or better—is a symptom of a illness and never a illness itself. In infants and toddlers, fever is a symptom of widespread viral and bacterial sicknesses similar to croup, flu, colds, gastroenteritis, ear infections, bronchiolitis, and urinary tract infections.

As distressing as a fever could also be, attempt to keep in mind that it’s a regular a part of the physique’s immune response. It serves as a protection mechanism by stimulating the manufacturing of white blood cells (similar to T-cell lymphocytes) that actively goal, management, and neutralize an an infection.

One of many issues that occur while you sleep is that you simply get a greater fever response. What this implies is that, even when the temperature rises, your physique is extra actively targeted on combating an infection.

Managing the Fever

Useful or not, a excessive fever could make a baby really feel completely depressing, so there’s a good cause to do all you possibly can to alleviate it. To this finish, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that you simply take the next steps to handle your child’s or toddler’s fever:

  • Maintain your baby hydrated. A fever may cause your baby to lose fluids rapidly and turn into dehydrated. This may result in critical problems and the worsening of signs. To keep away from this, push fluids as essential to hold your baby correctly hydrated. If there are indicators of dehydration, you should utilize an oral rehydration answer like Pedialyte. In case you are breastfeeding, nurse your baby extra typically.
  • Gown your baby calmly. Whereas your first intuition could also be to bundle your baby up when sick, it might solely add to his discomfort. If the room temperature is comfy (between 70 and 74 levels F), it’s higher to decorate the kid calmly. Forcing a sweat just isn’t a great way to deal with a fever.
  • Strive fever reducers. Youngsters’s Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Youngsters’s Motrin or Advil (ibuprofen) will normally do the trick. Although acetaminophen can be utilized in youngsters as younger as 2 months previous, ibuprofen can solely be utilized in youngsters 6 months and older. In case your baby is youthful than 3 months, or you might be uncertain of the dosage, converse along with your pharmacist or pediatrician earlier than giving any medication.
  • Use a fever reliever solely when wanted. Not all fevers should be handled. In keeping with the AAP, fever relievers are solely wanted if the fever is inflicting discomfort, normally above 102 or 103 levels F. In case you do determine to make use of one, give it simply earlier than bedtime to assist in an excellent night time’s sleep.
  • Keep away from outdated or unproven cures. The AAP additionally advises towards alcohol baths, ice packs, or “ravenous a fever” which may do extra hurt than good. You must also not give a cooling sponge tub to your child with out first offering a fever reliever. Doing so may cause shivering and may very well enhance physique temperature.

It’s best to by no means give aspirin to a baby until underneath particular path out of your kid’s physician. Aspirin use in youngsters with viral infections has been linked to Reye’s syndrome, a uncommon however doubtlessly life-threatening situation.

When to Wake Up Your Little one

It is comprehensible to be involved when your baby has a fever. In case your baby is ready to go to sleep do not wake your baby up simply to take their temperature or give them fever medication. Except their signs are extreme sufficient to warrant an emergency room go to, getting an excellent night time’s sleep is extra vital to the therapeutic course of than monitoring their temperature.

There are a couple of exceptions to this rule. For instance, in case your baby is sleeping restlessly, they could relaxation higher after a nighttime dose of Tylenol, Motrin, or Advil. Equally, in case your baby is respiratory quicker than regular or irregularly, you might need to examine their temperature to determine if additional motion is required.

When to Name the Physician

Usually talking, you would wish to name a health care provider or search emergency care if:

  • Your child is 2 months or youthful and has a temperature of 100.4 levels F or extra
  • Your child is three to 6 months and has a temperature of 101 levels F or extra
  • Your baby is over six months and has a temperature of 102 levels F or greater for greater than two days
  • Your baby has shaking legs and arms, hassle respiratory, and eyes which are rolling again. These are indicators of a febrile seizure. Whereas most are comparatively innocent, people who recur or final for greater than 10 minutes must be seen with out exception
  • You will have issue waking the kid
Verywell Household makes use of solely high-quality sources, together with peer-reviewed research, to help the info inside our articles. Learn our editorial course of to be taught extra about how we fact-check and hold our content material correct, dependable, and reliable.
  1. Sullivan JE, Farrar HC. Fever and antipyretic use in youngsters. Pediatrics. 2011;127(3):580-7. doi:10.1542/peds.2010-3852

  2. Nemours Youngsters Well being. Reye syndrome.

  3. Nemours Youngsters Well being. Fevers.

By Vincent Iannelli, MD

Vincent Iannelli, MD, is a board-certified pediatrician and fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Iannelli has cared for kids for greater than 20 years.

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