5 Things to NOT Do When a Child Has a Fever


Mother taking care of her feverish toddler

The internet, friends, relatives, and well-intentioned neighbors are often full of parenting advice, but some of this advice can be contradictory at times. This is especially true regarding what to do when your child has a fever. As modern medicine has progressed, new and improved methods of treating childhood fevers have emerged and become new standards for breaking a fever the healthy and natural way.

Here are five things not to do when a child has a fever. In most situations and for most children, each of these actions should be avoided in favor of safer and more effective fever treatment strategies.

Don’t Call the Doctor Right Away

First-time parents, in particular, are often very quick to pick up the phone and call the pediatrician the moment that their children’s fever goes above 98.6 degrees. Fevers are very normal in babies and toddlers as their body’s natural way to fight infection. And over-the-counter solutions like PediaCare Fever Relief can help treat fevers without a prescription. However, feel free to make that call for a fever of over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit in babies under three months, over 102 degrees babies between three and six months, or over 103 degrees in babies over six months.

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Don’t Starve a Fever

There’s an old saying that goes, “feed a cold, starve a fever.” But this is little more than old saying now that doctors have disproven the myth that food makes fevers worse. On the contrary, healthy foods can help boost a child’s immune system and speed up recovery time. Also, don’t forget about pure water and electrolyte drinks because hydration is also very important during fevers.

Don’t Underdress or Overdress a Feverish Child

Other old wives’ tales involve underdressing or overdressing children for the purpose of breaking a fever. Listen to what a child is saying about his or her body temperature and provide clothes and blankets accordingly. The important thing is to not overdo it or underdo it in terms of dressing when a fever is present.

Don’t Be Fooled When a Child Has a Fever but Acts Fine

Many parents experience a toddler fever with no other symptoms or that occasional instance when a child has a fever but acts fine. However, fevers over 101 degrees Fahrenheit are often contagious, which means that it still isn’t safe for the child to go to school and be around other kids and teachers. But with that said, always focus on how the child is feeling rather than what the number on the thermometer says because some children react differently to high temperatures than others.

Don’t Overlook Other Symptoms

With childhood sickness, fever is often just one of many symptoms. So, parents should not be so overconcerned about a fever that they overlook other things going on in the child’s body too. Children may develop ear infections, strep throat, diarrhea, or vomiting as a result of their sicknesses that also have fever as a symptom. Unexplained rashes can occur with pediatric fevers and require a separate treatment plan to address those skin irritations.

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