Friday, February 20, 2009

"When Your Child Has A Fever" Do You Sleep?

Fevers can be so scary! Especially at night when everyone is asleep, which is when they seem to be the worst.

My 19 month has a fever, I can never sleep, even if she is sleeping fine. It would be great if ibuprophen and acetamenaphin were miracle drugs, but they are not. Sometimes they work and other times they do not and your little ones body continues to burn.

During the day you can check on them every 30 minutes to be assured that their temperature is not to high, but at night it is too easy to fall asleep and not wake for several hours. I worry that her fever will get so high that she will be too lethargic to let me know she is burning up.

Try taking her temperature when she doesn't want to be messed with. It's pretty much a guessing game unless you have the right thermometer. If your thermometer takes longer than a second, you can forget having an accurate reading.

It is hard to be a mother and have all your heart and emotions wrapped up in this tiny little person.

Here is an article that can give you a guideline and helpful tips to make your little one more comfortable:

What To Do When Your Toddler Has A Fever

Tips and advice for how to effectively treat and take care of a toddler who develps an uncomfortably high fever.

When a child develops a fever, the first reaction might be to call the doctor and ask for advice. This is especially true if the fever comes on suddenly, when the child was feeling normal only a few hours before the onset. A high temperature of 100ºF after they have been exercising and/or running around is perfectly normal. However, if they have a temperature of 101ºF it mostly likely means that there is an onset of illness, regardless of whether or not they have been active.

The symptoms of fever obviously include feeling hot to the touch, especially the forehead and face. The child may feel very sluggish and exhausted. It is normal for the child to lose their appetite, and this is totally normal. As long as they are drinking enough fluids (water is the best thing to offer), they should be just fine until they feel like eating again.

Fevers occur when the body is responding to infections or various diseases and actually help to fight off and kill the germs at a high temperature. It is important to remember that fevers, although often worrisome, are not the illness itself. The fever is just the method that the body uses to overcome the illness. However, when the child becomes uncomfortable from having the chills (feeling hot and cold at the same time), and it is interfering with the child's sleep and making them exhausted, below are some ways to help your child feel more comfortable until they are back to feeling themselves again.

The first and most obvious method of bringing a fever down is over the counter medicines such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Motrin) and other non-aspirin products. Refer to the directions on the medicine itself for actual dosage by weight and/or age. You should never give a child aspirin for a fever or a cold unless prescribed by a doctor. If aspirin is given, it could make a serious illness such as influenza or chicken pox even worse by putting the child at risk of becoming even more ill, possibly fatally.

If the child is not too exhausted to sit up, give them a tepid, or warm, bath. Make sure that the water is not too cold and not too hot. If the child is not up for a bath, take a cool sponge to their body to make them feel more comfortable.

Let the child rest. It is very important that they sleep when and as long as they want. Usually, with a fever above 101ºF, it's often the case that the child will not want to play anyway.

As mentioned above, keep the child hydrated. If they do not want to take drinks of water from a sippy cup or a glass, try this: fill a very small cup (bathroom cup size) about half full with water. If desired, put a straw in it and offer it to the child. Do this about every fifteen minutes. The purpose of the small amount is that the child will more readily drink a little amount instead of being overwhelmed by a large, full cup of water. If the child feels up to it, also offer solid food, but do not force it on them. They will eat when they are hungry. Water is the best thing to offer when the child doesn't feel up to eating. If water is rejected, try diluted juices, soup broth, gelatin desserts, or ice pops.

You should call or the child should see a doctor if: the fever is 103ºF or above; it is accompanied by vomiting, headaches, rashes, and/or other aches and pains; the fever lasts for more than three days. You can also, usually, rely on your instinct. If you feel as though the child needs to see a doctor or if you just want to get some advice, do not hesitate to call and talk to a nurse or doctor. They are usually more than happy to give you some more tips and advice and will let you know whether or not it is necessary to bring the child in for evaluation.

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