2. Soothe a fever
You shouldn’t take chances when your child is suffering from a fever but many parents panic instead of recognizing it as a sign that the child’s immune system is doing its job. A very high fever is a cause for concern but if a child is suffering from a low-grade fever and has other symptoms like a runny nose or a cough, it’s probably just a common cold.
One way to soothe a fever is with a sponge bath. Cold water should not be used as this can cause shivering and make the body temperature rise. A small baby can be given a sponge bath several times a day by soaking a washcloth in warm tap water, wringing out excess water and then sponging armpits, hands, groin, and feet. As warm water evaporates from the skin, it cools it down and the fever is lowered.
Another option is to put a cool, damp washcloth on a child’s forehead and keep changing it. An older child can take a lukewarm bath or shower. Heavy layers of clothing are uncomfortable for a child with a fever and lightweight, breathable clothing helps. Another option may be to use a fan if a child is still feeling too hot.
If a child is shivering, a light warm blanket can be used until he or she is warm again. It’s an old myth that a fever should be sweated out under heaps of blankets. Cool foods such as popsicles and yogurt can help to bring down fever. They soothe the body from the inside and also help to prevent dehydration.