How to Reduce Your Child's Fever

Person's hand examining fever of a boy
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What can you do for a child with a fever who is irritable and spitting medicine back up? One simple step is to try a different medication, or a different flavor of the same fever reducer. While some kids simply don't like to take any medicine, others are just picky.

For example, Infants' Tylenol Oral Suspension comes in different flavors, including grape and cherry. There are also different forms of Tylenol, in addition to the oral suspension. The FeverAll suppository form of acetaminophen can be given to infants over 6 months of age.

If your child is over 6 months old and won't take Tylenol, you might change over to a fever reducer with ibuprofen, such as Advil or Motrin. Always consult your child's pediatrician about proper dosages.

How to Lower Your Child's Fever

Giving your child plenty of fluids to drink and a lukewarm sponge bath might also help to lower their temperature. However,

  • Do not use rubbing alcohol or cold water in a sponge bath.
  • Never give our child aspirin, because of the risk of Reye's syndrome.
  • Do not overdress your child or use heavy blankets.

You should also avoid repeating any doses of medicine that your child spits up, unless instructed to do so by your pediatrician.

Do You Have to Treat Your Child's Fever?

While you certainly don't have to reduce your child's fever, it is likely a good idea if your child is irritable and having trouble sleeping due to the fever at night. The fever isn't going to help your child get better any faster, whatever is causing it.

And be sure to call your pediatrician if your child continues to have a fever or continues to be irritable, even after you get their temperature to come down.

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