Riding out a fever

Tuesday, March 1, 2011 Leave a Comment

Last week, my almost-2-year old ran a fever that read 103.5 on my crappy thermometer. So I figured it was 104.5. When he started the croupy cough, and his eyes rolled around in his head, I called our pediatrician's after hours service. Twice. A nurse at Children's Hospital walked me through it, assuring me that a fever is a good sign, to not get hung up on the number.

But he won't even take the Tylenol!

Then let him ride the fever out, she suggested.



Sweat out the fever, says today's WSJ:

When a child's temperature begins to rise, worried parents often spring into action, marshaling cool washcloths and pain relievers, making frantic calls to the doctor or even visiting an emergency room.
Now, the American Academy of Pediatrics is telling parents that the number the thermometer displays is just a number—and that making a feverish child comfortable is far more important than bringing his temperature to 98.6 on the dot.

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Fevers are the main reason for one-third of calls and visits to pediatricians.
"The signs and symptoms provide much more information than just the fever itself," says Janice E. Sullivan, a professor of pediatric critical care at the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Kentucky and co-author of an AAP report on fevers, released Monday.
The report, aimed at calming what it calls "fever phobia," also says there is no evidence that lowering a fever will help a child get well faster, or that leaving a fever untreated could cause seizures, brain damage or death, as some caregivers fear. 

What do you do when your child runs a high fever?


  • Anonymous said:  

    I always thought you're supposed to get the fever down, I always give ibuprofen.