All parents must deal with the possibility that their little one will get sick. Although many parents panic when their child spikes a fever, it is sometimes a good thing. A fever is the body’s way of killing off the bacteria or viruses that are making your child sick. By raising the core body temp, those things can no longer thrive. Here are five ways to break your child’s fever and when not to.

How to Break Your Child’s Fever

Sometimes you need to break the fever because it either gets too high or makes your baby uncomfortable. So here are five options for when the time comes to break your child’s fever:

  • First, call your doctor to find out what kind of fever reducer to give your child and the dosage. They may recommend giving your child a dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen according to the weight guidelines for the medication. Important: never give Ibuprofen to a child under the age of one.
  • Keep the child cool by placing them in loose-fitting clothing and switch their blankets for lighter ones or sheets.
  • Give plenty of fluids.
  • Avoid caffeine and sugar, which feed a fever.
  • Try a lukewarm bath, which can help bring down your child’s core temperature.

When to Not Break Your Child’s Fever

First, if your child is under a year old, always contact your physician to treat their fever. However, if your child is playing, smiling, eating and otherwise acting normal, there is no need to break their fever.

If the fever is under 102, has lasted for less than 24 hours, and is not presenting with any alarming co-existing symptoms, such as seizures, a bulging soft spot, delirium, or anything unusual, you can let the fever do its job.

One of or a combination of the above methods should help you to break your child’s fever when the need arises. However, if you ever have any doubts or concerns at all, always contact your child’s pediatrician right away.