Why High Fever Temperatures Can Be Deceiving

Tender Loving Care

Besides medication, a tepid bath can help to bring down a child's fever, says Dr. Leeds. "But make sure the water is comfortable, not cold, since chills can increase a fever." Never sponge a baby with alcohol, which can be toxic if too much gets absorbed through the skin.

To prevent your infant from getting dehydrated, continue breast- or bottlefeeding. Try not to worry if a sick toddler refuses to eat -- most kids can safely go days without food, says Dr. Banner. But it's crucial that your child drink fluids. Offer frequent sips of water, juice, or (especially if your child is vomiting or has diarrhea) an electrolyte solution such as Pedialyte. If your child won't drink, try ice pops or Jell-O.

Karen Cyr, of Glastonbury, Connecticut, wets a washcloth and lets her daughter suck on it when Miranda, 3, refuses to drink. She's also used a medicine dropper to squeeze small amounts of water into her daughter's mouth.

Although fevers have a way of rattling even the calmest parents, they're rarely cause for alarm. With some care and comfort, most babies bounce back in no time.

Marguerite Lamb is a mother of two in Glastonbury, Connecticut.

Originally published in American Baby magazine, January 2005.

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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