You have probably heard us say, "Fever is not dangerous, it is a good thing. It means that the body's immune system is working hard to burn away infection". This is true! However, we know that seeing your child with a fever can be quite worrisome.
The best way to truly measure a temperature is with a thermometer. The most accurate place to measure temperature is orally, rectally, or axillary (armpit).
We are more concerned with how your child is acting with a fever, not the number measured on the thermometer. If your child has a fever but is able to drink fluids, interact with you, and play; don't be concerned, just keep an eye on her and make sure she is drinking plenty of fluids. It is not even necessary to give Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen to a child with a fever who is acting well.
If you child is not acting well, you should treat with the appropriate dose of Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil). Then observe for a half-hour or so. If she doesn't perk up, call us immediately. If she does seem better, you can continue to treat her again according to the correct medication instructions. Never give aspirin as it could cause serious illness.
Other ways to keep your child comfortable when she has a fever is by offering her cold beverages to drink, lightweight clothing, or by giving her a lukewarm bath (not cold).
Usually when a child has a fever, you will notice signs of an illness starting; like a runny nose, sore throat, or vomiting. See the sections of our handouts for advice on how to handle each of these situations. Sometimes you will not see those symptoms until after one or two days of fever.
The most important information needed when dosing fever medication is to be aware of the Milligrams (mg) of medication that you are giving. This way, no matter which form you give (infant drops, elixir, meltaways, chewables, or tablets), you are giving the correct dosage. You will not overdose or under dose.