LEARNING ACTIVITY

Caring For Kids With a Fever

A fever is the body’s way of trying to fight off an illness or an infection. Knowing how and when to treat a fever will help with the discomfort it can cause and when to follow up with a health care provider if needed.

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Introduction

About

Children will likely experience a fever during their childhood, yet for parents, it’s not always a sign that something serious or worrying is taking place. There are a few things to note, including best practices for taking your child’s temperature, prevention measures, and recommended treatment options—all included in this activity.

To start, fevers are the body’s way of identifying something foreign in the body—such as germs or bacteria—and activate the immune system to fight them off. The body’s temperature control station, located in the hypothalamus of the brain, keeps the body’s temperature around 98.6º Fahrenheit (F), give or take one degree, and works to maintain this temperature. With an increased body temperature caused by a fever, the body is doing the work to fight off the germs with heat, which can keep them from persisting.

For children under 5 years of age, a fever is most commonly defined by a rectal temperature of 100.4º F. Learn more in this activity about best practices for taking temperatures and how to best care for your child with a fever.

Who It's For

Parents or caregivers with children who have or are at risk of an elevated body temperature.

Why It Empowers

This activity empowers parents and caregivers by helping them understand the causes of fevers in young children, tips for managing their discomfort, and when to notify their health care provider. With this activity, parents and caregivers will have confidence they are providing the best care for their children.

What's Needed

  • Digital thermometer (rectal, oral, or ear)
  • Over the counter fever reducing medications (such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen)
  • Fluids (such as electrolyte replacement drinks or popsicles, broth, etc.)
  • 15 minutes of time
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    Meet The Expert


    Crystal Morgan

    Crystal is a Board-Certified Lactation Consultant and Family Nurse Practitioner with more than 18 years of experience as a Registered Nurse in Labor and Delivery, Postpartum, and Newborn Nursery. She is passionate about all things related to women’s health and maternal child including breastfeeding education and support, and health and wellness promotion. Learn more and contact her at: toughtittylactation.com