A child with a fever needs to stay at home in order to rest and recover. Your child does not need to rest in bed, but should avoid any physical exertion. The best thing to do is to let your child decide how much they want to do.
Children with a fever should drink frequently
A child with a fever needs to drink more than normal. Otherwise they may easily become dehydrated. Give your child water, diluted cordial or juice, for example, to drink. A child who has not drunk enough may become tired and out of sorts, and will pass less water than usual. A child should pass water several times a day.
Sometimes a child with a fever does not want to eat their normal food. There is no danger if your child has a somewhat reduced appetite for a few days. Give your child something that they like to eat and drink.
Make your child comfortable
It is common for children to shiver and to feel cold as the fever rises. They may also feel sweaty. Try to ensure that clothing and bedding are appropriate for your child’s temperature. If your child has a high fever, they may be more comfortable if the room is cool. It must not be cold, however. You can remove blankets and quilts for short periods, or you can cover your child with a thin sheet instead of a quilt as they sleep.
Give medication to reduce the fever if necessary
A fever is the body’s reaction to an infection and is a way for the body to defend itself. Therefore, do not give fever-reducing medication to children who have a fever but otherwise feel well.
If your child is upset, will not eat or drink, or has difficulty settling at night, you can give non-prescription fever-reducing and pain-relief medication containing paracetamol. For example, Alvedon or Panodil. These can be given from the age of three months, but always seek medical advice before giving medicine to a baby under six months old.
From the age of six months, children may be given medication containing the active ingredient ibuprofen, such as Ipren or Ibuprofen.
This medicine is available in a variety of forms to suit different age groups. Ask at a pharmacy what is suitable for your child. Follow the instructions on the packaging carefully, and do not combine different medications.
Avoid certain medications
Do not give a child with chickenpox and a fever medicines containing ibuprofen or other drugs from the NSAID or COX inhibitor group. In the case of chickenpox, these medications can increase the risk of rare but serious infections.
Children up to the age of 18 years should not take medicines containing acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin), unless prescribed by a doctor. Examples of such medicines are Treo and Bamyl. There is a risk of the child developing Reye’s Syndrome. This is a rare disease that can lead to severe brain damage, among other things.