Fevers in Children: Learning to Cope & FAQs on Medications

by Melanie Edwards on November 21, 2013 · 1 comment

in Parenting

Fevers in Children

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Nearly eight years ago, as a new mom to an infant daughter, it was hard to know what symptoms were catastrophic and which were simply normal and part of everyday life for a newborn baby. When my baby girl would have a temperature above the normal 98.6 degrees I knew to be normal, it was hard not to freak out immediately. When her pediatrician’s office would tell me that a temperature up to 101 degrees was not considered alarming, I would get so frustrated and would literally break down and cry. It took a long time for me to truly understand what her doctor would tell me, “a fever is not a sickness, but a symptom of something else going on.” As a new parent, it’s really hard to suffer long nights of constantly checking your baby’s temperature, not being able to do much more than hold your (very warm) baby.

As this parenting journey continues, though, you find yourself learning the ropes and now that we have a second child we’re much more relaxed about many things, fevers included. Now when our children have a temperature, we don’t immediately panic. We simply monitor their temperature, provide appropriate medication, and consult their pediatrician as necessary. Of course, every situation is different and we have to consider all the symptoms our children show, not just the fever, but the point is that in general, we don’t feel like it’s the end of the world when their body temperature rises.

One thing we recently had to re-learn was the appropriate dosage for pain and fever relief medications, since the concentrations were changed to help avoid confusion. Though this change has been around for a couple of years already, I still double check the box label to be sure I’m buying the newer version which comes in one concentration that works for both infants and children. And though I’ve been doing this for a while, every time I give my kids their medicine (any medicine), I check the dosage information against their current weight to be doubly sure I’m giving them the right dose. You can’t be too sure with these things, right?

You can check out the infographic below to learn more about the different concentration and dosage information for pain and fever medications, as well as tips on alternating between acetaminophen and ibuprofen for controlling really persistent fevers (should your pediatrician suggest this for your child). (Click on infographic image to view full size.)

Treating Fevers in Children: Questions on Alternating Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen and New Liquid Medication Concentration Dosage Information

Treating Fevers in Children: Questions on Alternating Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen and New Liquid Medication Concentration Dosage Information

For parents with children under 2 years old, it can be especially tricky to know the right dosage of pain and fever medication to provide your sick child. If you don’t have the information from your child’s pediatrician ahead of time, you cannot find the appropriate dosage on the label of the medication, as the instructions state to “ask a doctor.” This is fine during normal business hours, but frustrating when a fever hits in the middle of the night! If this is a concern of yours and you’d like to voice your opinion about it, you can read the petition that was recently submitted by manufacturers of acetaminophen and even submit your own thoughts about including the dosage information for children under 2 years old right on the label.

How do you deal with your children’s fever when they’re sick? Do you have a special treatment that helps them feel better?

OTCSafety Disclosure

IMPORTANT NOTE: I am not a doctor and am simply sharing my personal experience as a mom of two children. Always consult your children’s pediatrician and follow his or her advice for treating your child(ren)’s symptoms.

Photo: Jeff Golden/Flickr
Infographic courtesy of OTCSafety

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Carol December 30, 2013 at 6:25 pm

This very well written. It is overwhelming being a new mom and not understanding what is going on with your baby can be frustrating especially when they have a fever. Thank you for sharing and helping us to relax some and gain the knowledge about when to be alarmed and when not to be.

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