Fever or Chills, Age 11 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
you see signs of dehydration in your baby. These signs include your baby being thirstier than usual and having less urine than usual.
- If you breast-feed your baby, nurse him or her
more often. Offer each breast to your baby for 1 to 2 minutes every 10 minutes.
- If you use a bottle to feed your baby, increase the number of feedings to make up for lost fluids. The amount of extra fluid your baby needs depends on your baby's age and size. For example, a newborn may need as little as 1 fl oz (30 mL) at each extra feeding, while a 12-month-old baby may need as much as 3 fl oz (90 mL) at each extra feeding.
- Do not give your baby plain water. Use an
oral rehydration solution (ORS) if your baby still isn't getting enough fluids from formula or the breast. The
amount of ORS your baby needs depends on your baby's age and size. You can give the ORS in a dropper, spoon, or
- Offer 0.5 fl oz (15 mL) of the drink every 10 minutes for the first hour. If your baby has trouble drinking that amount at a time, you can give small sips (about 5 mL) instead. Just give the smaller sips more often.
- After the first hour, gradually increase the amount of ORS that you offer your baby. You can stop using ORS when your baby is feeding normally again.
- 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.