Monday, March 29, 2010

How to treat a fever

First rule of thumb- never give aspirin to a child because it increases the risk of the child developing Reye's syndrome.

Second rule of thumb- if the fever is not causing discomfort it doesn't need to be treated. Fever is the body's way of fighting off infection and it actually blunts the body's ability to do that if you treat the fever.

You can try a tepid bath or cool compresses for a fever. Make sure your child is not overdressed because this can increase the fever, especially in a baby.

Two commonly used medications for fever are tylenol and ibuprofen.

Both come in infant and children's concentrations. The most important thing here is to READ THE DIRECTIONS because the concentration is very different. 80 mg of infant tylenol is 0.8 ml and 2.5 ml of children's tylenol.
The dose of tylenol is 15mg/kg every 4 hours
The dose of ibuprofen is 10 mg/kg every 6 hours
For example: There are 2.2 lbs in 1 kg. If your child weighs 22 lbs they are 10 kg. Their dose of tylenol would be 10 x 15 = 150 mg every 4 hours and their ibuprofen dose is 10 x 10 = 100 mg every 6 hours. If this is confusing, you can call your health care provider and ask them how much to give.

In my own personal experience I have found that ibuprofen tends to work better for fever than tylenol but they both work. Some people recommend alternating them every 3 hours and this can work. Do whatever works best for your child and your pediatrician recommends.

Next- febrile seizures



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2 comments:

  1. If you're using tylenol to treat something ongoing such as teething pain, how often do you think is okay to give it? I know I can give it every 4 hours for something short-term such as fever, but I don't want to give it too often longer-term, and I'm not sure if once a day is too much if the teething pain goes on for much longer. Your thoughts would be appreciated!

    LW

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  2. Tylenol is a pretty safe drug. You can give it every 4 hours and not worry but of course I would only give it if you really think they need it. Most kids don't care that much about teething.

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