Sniffles, flu and fever are very common in young children, with 20% – 40% of parents reporting feverish illnesses each year.
The good news is a fever – which in children under five is classed as anything higher than 37.5C (99.5F) and usually caused by a minor viral infection, such as a cough or cold – can normally be treated at home.
And as well as lots of TLC, their favourite cartoon, blanket on the sofa and best loved teddy, there are a few other things you can do to keep that temperature down.
Here’s some of our top temperature treating tips.
Give your little one regular drinks
Sweating and even runny noses can mean your tot loses fluids, which are important to helping to fight off an infection. Offer water regularly with their favourite cup or introduce a straw or other fun item to encourage them to drink. If your little one is being sick, use a syringe to give them tiny drops of water regularly.
It’s also important to look out for signs of dehydration – these can include a dry mouth, no tears, sunken eyes and if you have a baby, fewer wet nappies a sunken fontanelle (the soft spot on the head). If you’re concerned about this then call your GP immediately.
Let them sleep
Your little one may normally be an early riser but when they are ill they’ll need all the rest they can get to help their little bodies focus on getting better. Give them a blanket and get them comfy on the sofa where you can keep an eye on them. When it comes to bedtime check on your child from time to time during the night to make sure they aren’t too hot.
Give them some medicine
Giving your child pain relief such as ibuprofen will ease discomfort and help to bring down a fever. Ibuprofen, the main ingredient in Nurofen for Children, has anti-inflammatory properties and provides relief from pain and fever as well as helping to treat the symptoms of cold and flu and a wide range of aches and pains in children.
It can take just 15 minutes to bring down a temperature and relieves fever for up to 8 hours. It’s also suitable for children aged three months (weighing more than 5kg) up to 12 years.
Use mother’s intuition
We know our children better than anyone else so if you think your little one needs medical assistance call your GP right away. If your baby is under three months old and has a temperature of 39C (102F) or higher, has a fit or is crying with a high pitched tone then pick up that telephone.