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October 23, 2018

3 Tips for Reducing Your Child's Fever

Ask the Pediatrician, Katie

Q.  Dr. Katie, please help! My daughter has been struggling with high fever for the past three days. I have been giving her Motrin but within three hours the fever is back. I am using the appropriate dose for her age based upon the instructions on the bottle. The fever makes her miserable and I feel helpless. Do you have any tips for fever control?

A. You are not alone! Fever brings thousands of parents to the emergency room every year. The most important thing to controlling a fever is understandingthe difference between Motrin and Tylenol and knowing how to alternate between the two medications.

  1. Get the Right Dose.  It is imperative to have your pediatrician calculate the right dose of Tylenol and Motrin based upon your child's weight. The bottle gives a dose for an age range, which will most likely not be the accurate dose for your child.  The correct dosage is based upon weight. When you are dealing with a high fever, every milliliter counts.
  2. Make sure you have Motrin and Tylenol in the house at all times. Motrin is a medication that can only be given every six hours. Most children that are fighting an infection which is causing high fever will not go six hours without the fever coming back. If you give Motrin and three hours later your child has a fever again, you should give Tylenol. It is important to understand that Motrin works differently than Tylenol. They both can and should be used to control fever.  With a high fever, it is best to alternate Tylenol and Motrin every 3 hours. Make sure to write down when you have given each medication so you don't get confused.
  3. Remember fever isn't a bad thing.  Fever is our body's way of fighting off infection. In most cases, fever is treated as a way to make our children comfortable. Treating a fever will not make the infection go away faster, but it will definitely help them to feel much better while fighting their illness, which as a pediatrician and mom, is very important to me.

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