We have all been there. Your child has a fever in the middle of the night. Its frighteningly high, we wonder if we should take them to hospital or risk them getting convulsions. What should we do?
If you live in the Musashino area of Tokyo you will be grateful for the fact that the Musashino Red Cross hospital is a child dedicated and is open twenty four hours. Like many Japanese hospitals, the Musashino Red Cross hospital however is often struggling to cope with many young parents who find themselves in this situation for the first time.
As a parent you should always call a doctor if you feel that there is something really wrong. The best thing to do is trust your instincts. As a rule however, if your infant/baby has a temperature of 38c or higher then immediately call a doctor. If your child has a temperature of 40c or more then immediately call a doctor.
In my case we did take our infant first born to hospital (Musashino Red Cross hospital), just to be sure. The doctors at Musashino Red Cross hospital reassured us that in most cases the degree of fever or high temperature is not necessarily an indication of the severity of the infection. Its actually the bodies way of building up resistance. In any case, I’m glad we made that decision, if not only for my own peace of mind. The Musashino Red Cross hospital and their dedicated staff certainly brought much relief to us that night.
Before I go on to the 8 tips about reducing your childs temperature, if your local you may also like to know a few more general points about the Musashino Red Cross hospital. (If you are in a hurry skip the next paragraph).
It is a relatively large hospital. How large? It hosts over two hundred doctors and about one thousand nurses. In some cases the Musashino Red Cross hospital may receive up to twenty ambulance arrivals each day. The hospital serves more than three hundred and thirty thousand patients per year. It has about six hundred and eleven beds of which thirty are used for emergency use. The Musashino Red Cross hospital also carries out about eight thousand surgeries per year and it delivers about one thousand babies each year. The Musashino Red Cross hospital certainly provides a great community service for people living in Musashisakai, Mitaka, Kichijoji and the Musashino area in general and I am most certainly grateful for its close presence. Most of our parents certainly feel very safe having it located so close to our preschool. In fact it would most likely take less than ten minutes for an ambulance to arrive at our Sakai location.
How to bring down your child’s temperature
While I’m not a doctor, I’ve since learnt a few more things about kids fever since that night of worry. Bringing the temperature down then obviously needs to be your initial focus.
You can try some of the following ideas, but do be mindful of the general rule not to bring your child’s temperature down too much, or too quickly.
· One obvious option that first comes to most peoples mind is to use a wet towel on their child’s forehead or feet.
· Another, not so well known, is to get them to wear damp cotton socks covered with wool socks.
· A most important thing to do if your child or infant is running a temperature is to make sure she is not wearing too many clothes. With the aim of letting the heat out, remove some of her layers. If she is a baby, she should retain her diaper and a light top (preferably cotton).
· Wrapping your child up may also cause her to overheat, so go easy in this regard. An older child should wear the same amount of clothing as when they are not ill, but if they complain of feeling cold, cover them a little.
· Putting your baby or child in a lukewarm bath will also reduce their temperature. Do not use cold water as this will only lead to shivering which will actually increase your child’s temperature. Sponge the lukewarm water over your child’s forehead and try and keep her in the bath as long as she is interested. Never leave your child alone in the bath.
· Using a fan in your child’s bedroom is also a good way of reducing her temperature.
· Keeping your child hydrated is also important. We often use sports drink for our older children, but anything your child wants to drink is OK. Water, juice, yogurt or milk are some good examples and even a flavored ice block will bring your child’s temperature down. You can also use vitamin C drinks as well.
· If your child does not want to eat don't make her. However a light meal that is easy to digest may agree with her. As such, its probably best to keep away from spicy food. Also, if your child does not want to lie in bed all day you don't have to make them unless your doctor has recommended it. In most cases regarding fever its better to let your child make some decisions on what they want to do, eat or drink.
There are also other ways of bringing your child’s temperature down. Some types of medicines for example, but my recommendation is to keep the process as natural as possible, unless otherwise recommended by a doctor.