First, let me be very clear: I am not a doctor. And I’m not dispensing medical advice.
I’m telling you anecdotally 5 Mistakes Parents Make When Their Kid Has a Fever that I’ve had personal experience with – because I’ve been there, done that and been holding-the-kid-with-the-fever-in-the-shower-to-cool-her-off to prove it.
So, whether you want to hear about the medical care you can receive at a CareNow Urgent Care center (they’re open late and on weekends at their over 100 locations nationwide) or you’re just here for information and maybe a little laugh at my ineptitude at parenting, read-on, friend.
5 Mistakes Parents Make When Their Kid Has a Fever
- Ignore the Signs. As a new mom, I didn’t really know what a fever LOOKED like. It’s also different in every kid, so even with kiddo #2, I wasn’t prepared. For my oldest, a fever means pale, lethargic, sleeping, and not eating at all. For kiddo #2, it’s talking non-stop, being clingy, and still eating, but eating less. With two very different ways of showing that they don’t feel well, is it any wonder that it took me a while to figure each of them out?! And I’m not alone. Lots of parents miss those little signs because they are too busy or always in a rush, which can result in sending your kid to school despite them being sick – oops!
- Use the Wrong Thermometer. Or just not knowing how to use what you’ve got (FYI, I’m still not sure how to use a rectal thermometer even after 2 kids). Not all thermometers are created equal–or the same. You should get one that’s easy to use, read the instructions, and only rely on a thermometer your doctor says is the right one for the kiddo. For example, some doctors say that children under the age of 1 should only be using a rectal thermometer–so, basically, for the first year of each of my kid’s lives, I took no temperatures myself. And how’s that going to work when you need to communicate the child’s temperature to the doctor?! You should be on the same page about how it’s being taken and where.
- Wait Until It’s an Emergency. Now, I know that a lot of people are in the camp of “let the fever run its course” and I’m not saying they’re wrong–I do that, too. But only up to a point. And that point, for me, is well before the time when the fever becomes an emergency. I will let my kid have a fever for a day. After that, I’m visiting the CareNow Urgent Care center around the corner from my house, where I can be seen that day. Immediate care is what they’re there for, and they’re the experts. So, if my kid is sick for more than just a day, I take my kid in BEFORE her fever hits 104.1 (when it starts to get scary) or when her other symptoms start to get her in a scary place.
- Treat When Unnecessary. Now, there’s been a lot of debate about “what to do when a kid has a fever” but most doctors will tell you that you don’t need to give a kid anything to treat their fever, if it’s lower than 104 and/or it’s been less than 24 hours. I will be honest, I didn’t know that 104 was the “magic number” until recently, so I was more than a little clueless until I talked to the kiddo’s doctor. Basically, if your kid has had a fever for more than 24 hours, go see the doctors at CareNow Urgent Care (see #3…). And if the kid’s fever hasn’t hit 104, no need for any immediate action–just keep ’em comfortable.
- Treat With the Wrong Medicine. Think before giving your kid aspirin – I’ve heard it can have some bad side effects (since I have never given it to my kids, I don’t have any personal story on that one). Additionally, don’t opt for over-the-counter meds before getting a doctor’s opinion. Head to your closest CareNow location and ask the doctor what medicine is appropriate for your kid’s size and age. You’d be surprised how many of your go-to medicines aren’t made for kids and won’t fix whatever their underlying problem is. So, with kids, skip the meds they don’t need and just see a doctor for the ones they do.
Again, I’m clearly no doctor (I mean, seriously, I have great handwriting!), but I do know these 5 Mistakes Parents Make When Their Kid Has a Fever because I’ve made (almost) all of them.
Good thing CareNow Urgent Care centers have my back.
I mean, take the last two weeks, for example. I had two kids, both with fevers over 102° and both sick for more than 24 hours. I hopped on the Web Check-in for my local CareNow and we were in to see a doctor in about 20 minutes.
No unnecessary waiting, no lines, no hassle.
That’s what I needed with TWO kids that were sick (and the second one just WOULDN’T STOP TALKING–so weird).
Learn more about what CareNow does at CareNow.com.
If you love this, be sure to pin this so that you can find it again, the next time you’d like to laugh at me–or have a little reminder of the mistakes to avoid when your kid has a fever.