Fever care for children: Commonly used medications

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Fever is a common issue among children. For children, older than 6 months, they do not require treatment for fever unless it causes discomfort. Make sure that the child is monitored. If eating, sleeping, drinking normally and able to play, you can wait if the fever settles on its own.

What should I do?

  • Keep the room of the child comfortably cool.
  • The child should be dressed in light clothing.
  • Try to encourage the child to drink more fluids such as water, diluted juices or an electrolyte solution to prevent dehydration.
  • Make sure that the child does not overexert himself/herself.
  • A doctor should always be consulted first before providing any medications.

Medications for fever

Try to encourage the child to drink more fluids such as water, diluted juices or an electrolyte solution to prevent dehydration.

Both ibuprofen and acetaminophen are safe and effective medications for fever if used as directed. These medications can help improve comfort for the child and reduce the elevated body temperature. A prescription is not needed and readily available in pharmacies. Nevertheless, the following should be considered:

  • Ibuprofen should only be given to children older than 6 months. Do not give the medication to children who are vomiting continuously or dehydrated.
  • Avoid using aspirin in managing fever or discomfort. Remember that aspirin can been associated to certain side effects such as intestinal bleeding, stomach upset and Reye syndrome.
  • In case the child is vomiting and could not take anything orally, a rectal suppository might be required. Acetaminophen is available in suppository form and can reduce discomfort in a vomiting child.

Prior to giving the child any medication, carefully read the label to ensure that the right dosage is given for his/her age and weight.

Additionally, if the child is taking other medications, check the ingredients carefully. If ibuprofen or acetaminophen is included, inform the doctor. For children, younger than 2 years old, it is vital to discuss any medications with the doctor just to be safe.

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