Just when you’re about to step up on the podium and receive your gold medal in being a parenting genius, the parenting gods, on their fluffy white clouds, look down on you and bang, hit your kid with a fever.
You know exactly what I’m talking about. Your kid is sleeping through the night. There is no need for a night light, no 2am “I need the tiniest sip of water”. They are happy and giggly through the day. No whinging. They eat everything you cook for them, including the green stuff. Seriously, you have finally figured out this parenting stuff. F-I-N-A-L-L-Y.
Then there is the “mummy” call in the middle of the night. Before you’ve even yanked yourself out of bed, you know you should start Googling what temp is a fever.
Well, I’ve been there. Many, many times. Let me tell you, Google is a scary place to be Googling medical stuff. Even more so at two in the morning with a sick, crying kid clinging to you.
Don’t Google. Instead, while your kids are still healthy and happy little mites, print this off and stick it to the fridge, the medicine cupboard, your bathroom mirror, anywhere. And good luck.
So, does my child have a fever?
Health Direct classifies a fever as anything above 37.5 degrees Celsius. While fevers scare the living daylights out of parents and make kids feel absolutely horrible, they usually just mean that your kid’s little body is fighting an infection.
There are different ways to take a kid’s temperature – under the arm, under the tongue or via the ear. All work just as well as the other, and a pharmacist or your doctor will have advice on which is the best for your family.
When should I start panicking?
Raising Children says to seek medical advice if your baby is under 12 months and has a fever. If your baby is under three months with a fever, seek medical attention immediately.
For kids over 12 months, the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne advises to seek medical attention if they are “complaining of a stiff neck or light is hurting their eyes, vomiting and refusing to drink much, a rash, more sleepy than usual, problems breathing or if your child is in pain”.
In saying that, if your mummy instincts are screaming at you, head to your local family GP – even if it is just to be reassured it’s nothing serious.
How do I help my kid get through this?
Like I said before, fevers aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but oh, they can make your kid hate life. Your job is now officially to make them feel slightly better while the fever takes its course.
To do this, keep their fluids up. If they are still breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, offer extra fluid. Don’t panic if they are refusing food, the main focus is their fluids and keeping them hydrated.
Dress your child in light clothing (but not so little that they are shivering). Same with bedding, strip it to the bare minimum to avoid over heating them.
Back in the day, you would have been told to put a wet cloth on their forehead and direct the fan on them, but this is no longer recommended.
Make sure they rest. That list that you needed to get done today will need to wait. I’m sorry to say, but you are officially home bound with your kid watching Frozen on repeat while lying on top of you.
Finally, medicine. While medicine like Children’s Advil won’t cure a fever (or take it away), it will make your kid feel better. It works fast on fever (even the ones they get from their immunisations) and it lasts for up to eight hours (which means you have to bribe them fewer times with chocolate/a pony/a trip to Disney World to get the medicine down).
Children’s Advil has a range for infants and children, including drops, chewables and liquid suspension for different age brackets. Make sure to get the age-appropriate pack and be sure to follow the dosage instructions.
They’re not getting better.
If after 48 hours they aren’t improving, or are actually getting worse, head straight to your GP. And if you have concerns at any time, don’t delay seeking medical advice.
“This too shall pass.”
The next few days and nights might not be the greatest, but it will pass and it will get better. Deep breaths, Mumma, you can do this.
This content was created with thanks to our brand partner Children's Advil.
Always read the label. Use only as directed. Incorrect use could be harmful. Consult your healthcare professional if symptoms persist.
What do you do when your child is sick? Share with us below.
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