How important is it for a child to maintain a “normal” temperature? Not as important as it is for a child to be comfortable, pediatricians say.
Along with addressing the dangers of tanning for minors (see yesterday’s entry) the American Academy of Pediatrics issued another clinical report Monday in its journal, Pediatrics, aimed at proper home treatment of fever.
One of the main points in the report: Parents shouldn't wake a sleeping child to administer a fever-reducing medication, but instead should focus on making the child feel comfortable.
Fever, which helps the body fight infection, is one of the most common symptoms that prompt parents to bring their children to the doctor.
Many parents administer fever-lowering medications, but the report stresses the parent’s goal should be child’s well-being and activities rather than maintaining a “normal” temperature, meanwhile watching out for normal fluid intake and signs of serious illness.
Pediatricians warn the correct dosage of fever-reducing medication should be based on a child’s weight and accurate measuring devices should be used. Alternating doses of ibuprofen and acetaminophen might be more effective at lowering body temperature, but questions remain about safety and it increases the risk of inaccurate dosing, according to the report.