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wake up child with high fever to give motrin?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi all -

Our 2 year old is congested and had a 104 degree fever at 7:30 ... gave Tylenol and she went down to 102 by the time we put her to bed at 8:00. She's acting OK (not totally herself, but not completely off) - nurse said to give Tylenol every 4 hours and Motrin every 6. (So far she hasn't had Motrin, since we just ran out and bought it.)

My question is - do we wake her during the night? I think the nurse said something like "if she's burning up, wake her" but she didn't even feel like she was burning up at 104 - she just felt a little warm.

I know I could call back, and my instinct is to not wake her, but I'm just curious ... ugh. Not sure why I didn't clarify this when I was on the phone with the nurse the first time!

Thanks so much -
Emily
post #2 of 21
Quote:
I know I could call back, and my instinct is to not wake her, but I'm just curious ... ugh. Not sure why I didn't clarify this when I was on the phone with the nurse the first time!
I'd trust your instincts!

My gut reaction is that I wouldn't wake my DD. If she woke up on her own and was clearly uncomfortable, I would give her tylenol to help her sleep....but otherwise I'd let her body do what it needs to do to fight whatever she's fighting!

Good luck mama! Hope your DD is feeling better soon!!!

~Erin
post #3 of 21
why tylenol AND motrin?

I don't give dd any form of ibuprofen because years ago I read an incredibly scary story about a toddler who suffered internal bleeding after one dose and spent a week in the hospital afterwards......eek. the company admitted it is a documented side effect, albeit a rare one.

I think the tylenol should be enough and that as long as she looks comfortable to let her sleep as it is her body's way of healing itself. if she wakes and is uncomfortable and it's too soon for more tylenol, a lukewarm bath always brings down my dd's fever really well. I hope she feels better quickly!
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Oh! Lily, I've never heard of that. We have never given Motrin (hence the run to pharmacy) and really hardly give Tylenol - the nurse just said that for a fever that high, Tylenol often doesn't work and Motrin is better. (Although the fact that her fever went from 104 to 102 quickly with just the Tylenol makes me think that the Motrin shouldn't be necessary ... )

Thanks, Lily and Erin. Our kids handle high fevers much better than their parents do!

Emily
post #5 of 21
Personally, I find a lukewarm bath to be more effective than any medication. If my kids spike a high fever like that, we jump in the tub and maybe administer a dose of Tylenol, depending on how quickly the fever comes down.

I wouldn't wake a sleeping toddler for meds, although I *would* if she seemed very high. Do you have an ear thermometer you can check with? Or under her arm? I worry about seizures, and while I've heard that they really are not harmful, they just scare me, and I'd like to avoid one if possible.

Keep her lightly covered, or no covers. Covering her up will only make her hotter and might cause her fever to climb.

Good luck riding this one out. Hope it disappears quickly!
post #6 of 21
To me, a sleeping child is a comfortable child. I don't medicate for fever (or even do actual temperature readings any more) unless DS is really, really uncomfortable. The fever in and of itself will not harm her, and I wouldn't bother waking her up at all. Check out this Dr. Sears article on fever. It's full of really good advice and I've learned a lot from it.
post #7 of 21
My son had hand, foot and mouth last year. I was at work and DH called me at 3am to tell me that DS had a little bit of a fever when he went down...he woke DH up when he started screaming in the middle of the night, and was seizing when DH got to him (he was still almost 104 when I got home 20 min later). He got ibuprofen through the night for the next two nights. We still dose him before he goes to bed if he's warm, mainly because now that he's done it once he's more prone to febrile seizures. I usually let him stew during the day, simply because I can be more aware of his behavior.
If you do decide not to medicate with a 104 fever, then keep a very close eye.
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by bri276
why tylenol AND motrin?
Sometimes, with a high fever, giving both will get a faster response and bring the fever down. I was shown this trick in the hospital when my dd was very sick. I don't think it's necessary unless it's a very urgent case. I have only used it if my dd's temp gets above 104.5 or if she starts to have febrile seizures, which she did last winter several times.

I would go with your instincts on this. At the very least I would recheck her temps every hour all night long. If it gets near 105 I would wake her up and give her meds or use other methods to try to get the fever down.

Hope she's better soon!
post #9 of 21
I'm confused, I didn't think it was necessary to give medication for fevers. I mean, fever is the body's way of burning out infections, right? I mean I understand it's necessary for kids who have a history of medical probelms (like seizures) but, if it were me I'd let the fever do it's job and make sure dc stays hydrated and isn't acting too out of sorts.

Someone please correct me if I'm off here.
post #10 of 21
CryPixie83 - you're correct. In the big picture medicating a fever actually makes the body work HARDER to get well. I would not medicate for just a fever under 104.5 probably in a child unless the child was so uncomfortable that they couldn't rest. I would NOT give both tylenol and motrin just for fever.

-Angela
post #11 of 21
some times with a fever the kid cant wake up, I would ceck temp through the night to be safe and wake her if it gets high.
post #12 of 21

Fever In Children

Fever actually has a lot of benefits... In a study done with children with chicken poxs the children were given either placebo or tylenol (acetamenophen) to bring the fever down. the results were that the children were not any more uncomfortable because they had a fever (ie they played, slept and ate as well as the tylenol treated group) and they chicken pox healed up on average of 3 to 4 days sooner. I won't bore you with biology, but fever is a part of the immune system and it does a great deal to help fight off an infection, so why knock it out with tylenol or some other antipyretic(Ibuprophen, aka motrin)????

Children tend to have higher fevers than adults... higher metabolism, so a fever of 104 is quite often normal for a kid where as it would be considered a high fever for an adult. And how high a fever is does not relate to how sick a person is.

We actually have a pretty good system of keeping fever in check so it doesn't get too high and we can tolerate body temperatures of 42 degrees celcius (about 105-106 Feirentheit) without any problems.

A very small percentage of children are prone to what is called "febrile seizures" meaning they child (ages 6 months to 5 years) have a seizure when they develop a fever. Its a scary thing to witness as a parent but here are the facts. not all children get this, only a small precentage and its usually hereditary. They outgrow it by 5 (usually earlier). There is no evidence of longer term damage, it does not mean your child will be prone to seizure disorders when they are older. Tylenol will not prevent the onset of a febrile seizure, as it seems that it occurs at the begining of a fever before you get a chance to check the temperture. so if your child does have a seizure get it checked out immediately to make sure its not anything more serious but if its a febrile seizure, your baby will outgrow it and won't be hurt by it.

So what do I do. Well, no one in my family has ever had a febrile seizure as a child. so I only give my toddler tylenol if he looks to be uncomfortable or is having trouble sleeping, not because he has a fever. Sleep is so important for all your growing and healing. Your immune system does 80% of its work when you are sleeping. I will also make sure he has plenty to drink, cuz kids dehydrate faster than adults. I still check his temp when he is sick (still a nurse -- must do vitals) but I look at how he is doing on the whole to judge how sick he is, how cranky he is, how he is sleeping, what other symptoms he has. Forturnately he has never been very sick, but lethargy that is something I would jump up and down for, stiff neck, dehydration, difficulty breathing all these things I would go for an ER visit.

ps I'm a nurse with an interest in fever research. If you would like my source articles about anything about fever please PM me and I will be happy to send you a reference list.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by CryPixie83
I'm confused, I didn't think it was necessary to give medication for fevers. I mean, fever is the body's way of burning out infections, right? I mean I understand it's necessary for kids who have a history of medical probelms (like seizures) but, if it were me I'd let the fever do it's job and make sure dc stays hydrated and isn't acting too out of sorts.

Someone please correct me if I'm off here.
That's what I believe as well. in fact, I don't even own a working thermometer! I do have both Motrin and Tylenol in the house, but I only use them for pain when there's no fever present.
post #14 of 21
NO! Don't wake her!

Fever is the body's way of fighting off infection - if you can let it do its work, your child will have a better chance of recovering without needing antibiotics, etc.
I only give my kids Tylenol or Motrin if they are very uncomfortable with the fever pain, otherwise I let it run its course.

(Now, of course, if the fever was in the "dangerously high" range, I'd use an intervention - but probably a warm/tepid tub before medication)

Hope she's feeling better!
post #15 of 21
Well my experience with baths, any temp, when my child has a fever, triggers chills which will make the fever spike.

Let her sleep, keep an eye on her, but if you're increasingly worried give her some.

Most doctors admit that giving meds to a child with a fever is just to relax the parent.

Do what you're comfortable with.
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abbyloos Mommy
Well my experience with baths, any temp, when my child has a fever, triggers chills which will make the fever spike.
I think that's why you're really supposed to use the bath in conjunction with medicine, at least that's what good old Sears says (not that I"m 100% on board with all of his advice). but my dd has never gotten chills from the bath so I don't know ???
post #17 of 21

A bath is what started the fiasco for us tonight. My 2 year old was fine before a bath. Gave him one and he got terrible chills and a fever spiked to 102.2. We ended up in the ER with febrile seizures. :( We are on a Tylenol/Motrin sway every 3 hours to keep the fever at bay.

post #18 of 21

This has been very helpful to us when our DS was feverish.  It conforms with our Ped's advice.

 

http://www.pamf.org/children/common/fever/

 

Some quotes:

"When a child has a fever, the main concern is how sick your child seems. This is much more important than the height of the fever. High fevers are not usually dangerous."

 

"We do NOT advise alternating between Tylenol and Motrin when your child has a fever. Pick one of the medicines to use that you think works better for your child."

post #19 of 21

ohh I hope she gets better by now :heartbeat

post #20 of 21

Skimming over other comments, I note you've been given some advice about not treating fevers.  It's true that treating children's fevers under ~105 is a cultural thing:  Americans have tended to do it, for several generations.  Europeans have not.  But I think there's somewhat universal concern over fevers that exceed 104, because it's rare for normal childhood illnesses to cause a fever higher than that.  So, at 104, you should be monitoring closely to make sure it's not getting higher, in case your child has something more serious (like meningitis), which it would be best to have identified and treated as early as possible.

 

Another consideration is that it's hard to keep sick kids hydrated or give them any nutrients, if they're so fevery that they vomit everything that crosses their lips.  That's why I prefer to treat high fevers, even though I'm someone who typically avoids giving medicines including OTC ones.  My fever "trick" of choice is the acetaminophen suppository.  They're OTC, sold in a little box near the other fever-reducers, and I think they're always off-brand.  I don't think Tylenol makes any.  A wakeful kid will be a little squirmy about taking rectal medication.  A sleeping kid might not even notice.  But they're not painful.  It's like a very, very small piece of butter - shaped strategically - that starts to melt as soon as it comes in contact with body heat.  (So you have to be ready to work quickly, or it will melt on your fingers instead of just inside your little one's bottom).

 

Suppositories let kids absorb the medicine without the possibility of vomiting it.  Once the fever is down enough that a kid can reliably take oral medication, I alternate Tylenol and Motrin.  It sounds like your nurse advised you to overlap them?  That sounds like a lot of medicine, if the Tylenol is lowering the fever.  I usually find it sufficient to give Tylenol; 4 hrs later Motrin; 6 hrs. later Tylenol.

 

--- OOPS! ----- Just realized the OP's kid was sick *in 2006*.  I assume he's better now...


Edited by VocalMinority - 3/6/14 at 8:09pm
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