Oftentimes, a parent’s concern about their child’s fever causes them to quickly reach for medication.  A new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)  in the journal Pediatrics offers some advice and information that every parent should know:

  • fevers are the body’s way of fighting off illness – it is a sign that the immune system is kicking in.
  • “The focus should be on comfort and not on absolute temperature.” — lead author Dr. Janice Sullivan
  • newly published guidelines for the administration of fever-reducing drugs:  the recommended dosage for acetaminophen is 10 to 15 mg/kg every 4 to 6 hours, and 10 mg/kg for ibuprofen.
  • Dosage is based upon weight, not age or height.  Be sure to use the proper dosage devices (not kitchen teaspoons, which vary in size).
  • These medications can be toxic when given in large doses or over long periods of time
  • Be aware that some cough syrups and cold medicines already contain fever-reducing acetaminophen or ibuprofen – don’t give a double dose to your child.
  • It is not necessary to wake your child up in the middle of the night to give them a fever reducing medication – if they are sleeping, there is no sign of discomfort.
  • Although fever alone is not a cause for alarm, parents should monitor their child closely for signs of serious illness and make sure their child is properly hydrated.

Read more from the article here, or talk to Dr. Cohen at his San Francisco office if you have any questions.