Fever, Age 3 and Younger - Home Treatment
It can be hard to know whether you
should call your doctor when your child has a
fever, especially during the cold and flu season. The
degree of the fever may not be related to the seriousness of the illness. The
way your child looks and acts is a better guide than the thermometer. Most
children will be less active when they have a fever.
If your child
is comfortable and alert, is eating well, is drinking enough fluids, is urinating normal
amounts, and seems to be improving, home treatment without medicine is all that
is needed for a fever. Dress your child
lightly, and do not wrap him or her in blankets. Dressing lightly will help
your child's body cool down.
Try these home treatment measures to make sure your child is drinking enough fluids and does not get dehydrated while he or she has a fever.
Newborns and babies younger than 1 year of age
dehydration develops to replace lost fluids. Offer
fluids to your baby often.
- If you breast-feed your baby, nurse him or her
- If you use a bottle to feed your baby, the amount of
fluid you normally use in the formula should be enough to replace lost fluids.
Check with your child's doctor if you think you need to feed your baby more
- Use an
oral rehydration solution (ORS) if mild or moderate dehydration develops. The
amount of ORS your baby needs depends on his or her weight and how dehydrated
he or she is. You can give the ORS in a dropper, spoon, or
- If your baby has started eating cereal, you may replace
lost fluids with cereal. You also may feed your baby strained bananas and
mashed potatoes if your child has had these foods before.
Children ages 1 through 11
- Make sure your child is drinking often.
Frequent, small amounts work best.
- For children with dehydration,
an oral rehydration solution (ORS) or plain water (if the child is eating food) may be used to replace lost
- Allow your child to drink as much fluid as he or she wants.
Encourage your child to
drink extra fluids or suck on flavored ice pops, such as Popsicles. Children
ages 4 to 10 should drink at least 6 to 10 glasses of liquids
to replace lost fluids.
- Cereal mixed with milk or water may also be
used to replace lost fluids.