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Fever is a an increase in body temperature as a reaction to an infection in the body. Fever is actually a healthy response and helps the immune system kill germs and fight viral and bacterial infections. According to the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, fevers in children can last two to three days.
Viral infections such a a cold, flu or chickenpox can be the source of fever in children. Bacterial infections such as strep throat, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis can also cause fever in children. Additional sources that can trigger periods of fever in children are ear infections, heat stroke, teething, immunizations, chemical poisoning, pneumonia and/or temporal arteritis.
Because fever is not an illness, it does not usually need treatment unless it is extremely high or causes children discomfort. Non-aspirin fever reducers work best to treat fever in children until it subsides. Non-aspirin fever reducers also effectively alleviate symptoms of body aches and chills that are associated with spells of fever. Children who are experiencing a fever should get plenty of rest and drink plenty of liquids to prevent dehydration. It is never a good idea to "starve" a fever in children and parents should instead provide their children with plenty of regular meals to sustain the energy necessary to fight off the fever symptoms.
Sponge baths may be an effective treatment for children that have been suffering from a high fever over 103 degrees F for longer than an hour. Your child's temperature will decrease within five to 10 minutes after a sponge bath has begun. Lukewarm baths may also have the same effect and according to the American Academy of Pediatrics rubbing alcohol should never be used as a replacement for water as it can be inhaled and absorbed into the skin and result in a coma.
Prevention and Solution
Preventing the fevers may prove to be a challenge for parents. Children are exposed to germs, viruses and bacteria on a daily basis, especially those who attend daycare and school. The most effective fever prevention method is to teach your child to wash their hands regularly.
Contact your pediatrician immediately if your child continues to suffer from fever for extended periods of time, as the underlying condition causing fever may require additional treatment. Children who experience chronic fever should see a pediatrician to rule out any serious issues such as lupus, hyperthyroidism, autoimmune diseases or cancers such as kidney cancer.