Do's and Don'ts for Treating a Child's Fever at Home


A fever in your child (ages 3 and up) can be worrisome, especially during cold and flu season. However, most fevers can be safely treated at home. If your child doesn’t seem very sick (lethargic, a deep cough with lots of mucus, or complaining of significant discomfort), it is fine to wait 48 to 72 hours and use the following tips to help the fever come down on its own.


DO encourage your child to drink extra fluids or suck on popsicles.

DO NOT make the child’s room too warm or too cool.

DO dress your child lightly.

DO NOT wrap him or her in blankets.

DO NOT sponge-bathe an infant who has a fever.

DO NOT use ice or rubbing alcohol on a child of any age.

DO encourage quiet activities and rest, when needed.


Learn more about fever in children, including when to call a doctor, by visiting MAPMG’s Staying Healthy pages.


Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, P.C. (Permanente) is our network of over 1,500 physicians who practice in our medical centers located in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Virginia.

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