Do parents worry too much about their child's temperature?

Filed under: Health & Safety: Babies

No one likes to see their kids get sick, and fevers can be especially worrisome. When my daughter caught the flu this winter, her fever soared to 104.5 and she felt like she was on fire. I think I checked her temperature every hour that night, until I could feel that she had cooled back down.

But researchers say that parents may be worrying too much about childhood fevers, and that many tend to medicate (or worse, over-medicate) a condition that doesn't even need treatment, even waking up comfortably sleeping children to give them medication.

Most germs, say doctors, can't live at temperatures over 101 degree, and fevers actually help our bodies immune systems work more efficiently. In fact, fevers may actually shorten the duration of the illness.

When deciding whether or not to treat a fever, say doctors, observe your child closely. If he or she is comfortable, active, and playing, then you can hold off on treatment. But if the fever is making your child uncomfortable, go ahead and give the appropriate dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.