How to Bring Down a Child's Fever

Children often spike fevers when fighting infections and viruses. Although your child may have a burning hot forehead and feel miserable, the fever is nature’s way of combating illness. If your child is achy or fighting the chills, you can keep her comfortable and try to safely lower her temperature.

Administer acetaminophen or ibuprofen if your child is older than 2 and the fever is over 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit measured orally. Make sure to read the label and give the appropriate amount for your child’s weight.

Keep the room the child is in at a comfortable temperature. Dress her in light clothing and avoid bundling her up in blankets even if she has the chills. If she is cold, place a light sheet on her.

Give your child a sponge bath or cool her head with a wet washcloth. Use lukewarm water and avoid alcohol or ice, which only raises the fever by causing the child to shiver.

Contact your doctor if your child’s fever reaches 103 degrees Fahrenheit measured orally or if your infant is younger than 3 months and has a rectal temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit 2. Tell your doctor what other symptoms your child has, especially appetite, energy level, pale or flushed skin and irritability.


Give your child lots of fluids to prevent dehydration. Popsicles, juice, flavored gelatin, water and broth-based soups are options that sick children may enjoy. Have her rest until the fever breaks.


Difficulty breathing or purple splotches on her skin warrant immediate medical attention. Never give aspirin to a child because of the risk of Reye's Syndrome.