We’ve had a rather strenuous past few days, most certainly more emotionally than physically. Ammaarah has been spiking fevers of up to 40 degrees and it was terrifyingly rough! As much as I tried to rest after giving her doses of medicine, I struggled to, because I could not get myself to stop checking up on her and testing her temp every few minutes. This certainly will resonate with many of you.
Alhamdulillah Alhamdulillah Alhamdulillah, her fever broke earlier today and hasn’t returned since. I couldn’t be more thankful and grateful that she is finally on the mend!
Dealing with fevers is never any fun and often very scary, so I thought I’d share some tips with you regarding how we have managed get through them so far:
1. Invest in a good thermometer.
I was gifted a digital one when Ammaarah was born, and it truly was one of the best gifts we received. It is quick, effortless and accurate. During times like this, it truly is the most comforting fact knowing that you can positively identify fevers.
2. Always have pain relief medication in your home
And always have the option of both syrup or suppository. Ammaarah really struggles to take medicine, we constantly have to fight with her to get it down (sometimes we have to hold her with force, and use a syringe to insert small bits in her mouth so that she can swallow without gagging and throwing up – a painful process to say the least!). I truly believe that suppositories are the best solution for such high fevers, because when they are this ill, it’s a struggle to reason with them. They work the fastest, and its best to get the fever down as fast as possible. We usually have Empaped and Ponstan suppositories in our medicine box, with my experience of Ponstan working more effectively.
3. Encourage them to eat anything you can find that is cold
Even if you feel they going to throw up everything (as they often do at such high fevers). Rather be armed with a bucket nearby, but allow them to eat as much ice, ice lollies, cold fruit, or drink cold juice or water as they can stomach. It will certainly help bring the temperature down quicker.
4. Undress them
Even if they going to fight you and say they are cold. Their skin should be exposed to air so that the heat can escape their body. It’s simple science really, the wider the surface area, the quicker the heat releases. If they are complaining that they are cold, cover them with a thin breathable blanket (I always use a muslin).
When you have undressed them, be sure to not have any direct wind or cold breeze reach them. At such high temperatures, your body becomes sensitive – sensitive to touch – and even the slightest breeze can be painful. Think back to how you feel when you have a common flu fever, well it’s the same for your little ones.
5. Skin to skin contact is best.
Much like they always say, that when one is stuck in icy cold conditions, the best way to stay warm and get your body heat up is to have skin to skin contact. Now the same logic applies to bringing your body heat down. Your body temperature will help regulate their temperature. Now I don’t mean you both have to be naked, but expose as much skin as possible onto theirs. Cuddle them, even if they fight you.
6. Luke warm water sponges
Use a damp cloth and constantly sponge them down with luke warm water. Please ensure that the water is luke warm, as their bodies are so sensitive at this point and anything too hot or too cold will be painful. (I honestly never really do this because it is too painful and cold for Ammaarah.)
7. Luke warm baths
Give them a luke warm bath. I also never really do this because Ammaarah refuses to touch any water. Her body is so sensitive at this point that we struggle to even stroke her face or body for comfort.
8. Wipe down with vinegar water
Use the old school remedy of wiping them down with vinegar water really works. I honestly cannot explain the science behind it, but it truly works for us. It somehow helps to calm her down and thereby brings her fever down. It seems to be soothing to her skin.
9. Chose your battles wisely
It’s not easy dealing with a child that has a fever. They are not co-operative and are often screaming and crying at the thought of doing anything other than just laying down. So if they refuse to bath, don’t bother to drain your energy by trying to force them. Rather wipe them down or try skin to skin contact. If they refuse to swallow medication, rather fight the suppository battle. It’s less messy and quicker to administer. At this point, chose the lesser of the two evils as it will be less strenuous on all of you.
10. Trust your gut
If something inside is telling you that something is wrong, it’s probably true. You will know when it’s time to consult a doctor. The fact that you are questioning whether you need to go to doctor is probably the first sign that you need to go. At that point, don’t hesitate and consult a professional.
11. Duah, duah and more duah
The power of prayer should never be underestimated. I often find that the moment I tell my parents that Ammaarah is ill, and they start making duah for her recovery, the turnaround time comes quick. Some may say it’s just coincidence, but I truly believe that it was because of their prayers that helped bring Ammaarah to recovery.
What are your remedies for dealing with fevers in kids? Please do share, I would love to know.