Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Treat a fever? Or let it go?

Posted March 1, 2010

Is it better to let your child's mild fever go so her body can fight infection? Or should you bring down the temperature with Tylenol or Motrin?

Dr. Martha Gagliano of Duke Medicine has the answer: "That's controversial -- maybe the fever's doing some good, but maybe not. If your child is uncomfortable, treat the fever. Most kids look terrible with a fever, so they're very difficult to assess.

Controlling the fever allows both the doctor and parent to assess how that child is doing. Also, kids get dehydrated easily; when they have a fever, they're losing water and need more, but they often won't drink as much, so they’re at higher risk of dehydration. My opinion is to go ahead and treat those fevers."

For more information about common questions about kids' health, go to www.dukehealth.org.

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