A sponge bath may be given if:
- Your child's fever is 104°F (40°C) or higher and
- Acetaminophen or ibuprofen has not lowered the temperature and
- Your child is very uncomfortable.
Give your child an appropriate dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen before giving him or her a sponge bath. Wait 30 minutes to see whether the medicine brings the child's fever below 104°F (40°C). Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
Give a sponge bath as follows:
- Use lukewarm water [90°F (32.2°C) to 95°F (35°C)] . Do not use cold water, ice, or rubbing alcohol, which will lower the child's body temperature too quickly.
- Sponge for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Stop if the child starts to shiver.
If your child doesn't like the sponge bath or doesn't feel better after the bath, there is no need to give another one.