HELP! I Can’t Get My Child’s Fever To Come Down!

Hi Loves! Well, the month of January is a tough month for my twin sister Alison. It takes her about three weeks to completely mourn the loss of the holiday season. Carrie and I usually have to go over to her house to provide support as she undresses the Christmas tree and puts away her holiday decorations. For me, although I love the holidays, there is something extremely comforting about getting my children back on a normal schedule. Although my home life becomes a little more structured, my work life at the Pediatric Emergency Room becomes busier.  Unfortunately, as the children reunite with their school mates and share stories of the gifts they received, they also share the germs and viruses they picked up during their vacation.

During this time of year, I spend a significant part of my ER shift treating pediatric fever and flu-like symptoms. Today I am going to be discussing fever and temperature control, as I find it creates a lot of stress for my parents! Most of the time when a parent brings their child to the ER with a fever it is because they are having a difficult time controlling the temperature. I am sure most of you have had the experience of giving Motrin, Advil or Tylenol to your child and within 3 hours the fever is back. You are now asking yourself, “what do I do now?” This can be extremely scary.

1.Try to plan ahead. When you bring your child to the pediatrician for their annual checkup, ask the nurse or doctor to calculate the right dose of Tylenol or Motrin for your child according to their weight. 80% of the time, the reason the fever does not resolve is because the dose is too low. The bottle rarely provides the accurate dosing.

2. Make sure you have Motrin and Tylenol in the house at all times. Motrin is a medication that can only be given every six hours. If you give Motrin and three hours later your child has a fever again, you should give Tylenol. It is important to understand that Motrin works differently than Tylenol. They both can and should be used to control fever.  With a high fever, it is best to alternate Tylenol and Motrin every 3 hours.

3. Most importantly, schedule an appointment with your doctor to have your child evaluated.

Please remember that fever is not a bad thing, it is our body’s way of fighting infection! I hope this helps make your child’s next fever more manageable!  See you next week with more tips!

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