Fever in young children is very common, but it can still be very scary for parents, especially if it occurs in the middle of the night.
Imagine a toddler who is fussy and wakes you up at night. When examined, he had a fever with a temperature of 37ºC. When this happened, what did Mom do?
Should you monitor your child’s fever all night? Is it better to let him sleep again? Or take him straight to the doctor?
When your child has a fever at night, there are several things you can do as an initial treatment measure.
Here Thevolume.net has summarized what causes and how to effectively treat children with fever at night. Let’s see!
Causes of Fever in Children at Night
Reporting from Very Well Family, it is important to remember that a fever is defined in children as a rectal temperature of 37.7ºC or more.
Fever is not a disease, but a symptom of a disease. In infants and toddlers, fever is a symptom of common viral and bacterial illnesses such as the flu, colds, gastroenteritis, ear infections, bronchiolitis, and urinary tract infections.
While a child who has a fever at night may worry you, know that a fever is a normal part of the body’s immune response.
It functions as a defense mechanism by stimulating the production of white blood cells (such as T-cell lymphocytes) that actively target, control, and neutralize infection.
One of the things that happen when a child goes to sleep is that he gets a better fever response. That is, even though the temperature rises, the body is more actively focused on fighting infection.
How to Overcome Children’s Fever at Night Effectively
Most cases of fever at night do not require special treatment. However, you can help relieve your child’s symptoms in several ways. Here’s how to deal with a child’s fever at night effectively:
1. Keeping the child’s body fluid intake stable
When a child has a fever, the child’s body can lose fluids quickly, causing dehydration.
If this happens, dehydration in a child can lead to serious complications and worsen fever symptoms.
So it is important to help meet the fluid needs of children to prevent dehydration.
At night, you can give your child water, milk or breast milk (for children who are still breastfeeding), or juice.
2. Set a comfortable room temperature and wear light clothing
While your first instinct may be to cover your child when he’s sick, avoid doing this when he has a fever. Because that might only add to his discomfort.
Instead, set a comfortable room temperature between 21 and 24ºC.
In addition, it is better to wear light clothes for the child, meaning that there is no need to give clothes in layers. Because forcing sweating is not a good way to treat a fever.
3. Using a warm compress
Mom may be familiar with this one way, right? Compresses are a method that has long been believed to lower body temperature when a child has a fever.
However, compresses to reduce fever should not use ice or cold water, because this can make the child’s body shiver.
Therefore, use a cloth soaked in warm water, then place it in the folds of the armpits and groin for 10-15 minutes.
This method can help lower the child’s body temperature because heat from the body can escape through the skin pores through the evaporation process.
4. Give your child more physical touch
There are many benefits that moms can get after making skin-to-skin contact with children, even if this starts when a new child is born.
When the child is older, it does not mean that there are no skin-to-skin moments that can be done. Mom can hug, hold, rub her forehead or back, and sleep next to the child will make it more comfortable and calm.
This warmth is needed to overcome the various discomforts he faces, either in the form of fever or something else. In addition, skin-to-skin is done when the child has a fever, it also makes him feel protected.
5. Turn off the room lights when the child starts sleeping
When the child feels calmer, more comfortable, and begins to fall asleep, it is best to turn off the room lights.
Although this is not directly related to how to deal with a child’s fever at night, this method can help the child feel more comfortable while sleeping.
Sleeping in the dark has been shown to increase the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone that promotes restful sleep.
With a good night’s sleep, the child’s rest time will be more optimal and his body will be more fit to overcome the symptoms of his fever.
6. Give fever-reducing medication if needed
Reporting to the American Academy of Pediatrics, not all fevers need to be treated.
A fever reliever is only needed if the fever causes discomfort, usually above 38.8 or 39º C.
If you decide to use it, try a fever-reducing medication such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Motrin, or Advil (ibuprofen).
Give the dose according to the child’s age. If you are unsure of the dose, talk to your pharmacist or pediatrician before giving any medication.
7. Know when to take your child to the doctor
Although fever is a fairly common condition for children, you need to pay attention to your child’s temperature level. Because the exact temperature level can determine the consideration to see a doctor.
Immediately consult a doctor if the child’s body temperature is more than 39°C at night or certain conditions appear, such as the following.
- Refusing to drink water.
- Have diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, and severe stomach pain.
- Showing signs of dehydration (such as less frequent urination or no tears when crying).
- Feeling pain when urinating.
- Persistent fever every night.
- Have a special medical condition, such as cancer, lupus, or heart disease.
- A rash appears.
- Having a seizure or being unconscious.
- The child coughs until he can’t sleep.
So that are 7 ways to deal with a child’s fever at night effectively. Of course, Mom is worried when the child has a fever at night. But if the child can fall asleep, do not wake him up just to take his temperature or give him fever medicine.
Unless the symptoms are severe enough to warrant an emergency room visit, a good night’s sleep is more important to the healing process, than always waking up to have your temperature checked.