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Fever is Your Child’s Friend

by Sue Hubbard, M.D.

It is the season for fevers and the mantra “fever is your friend” comes to mind once again. It is not uncommon for a toddler or school aged child to have two to three episodes of fever during the winter months. For some reason, fever is one of the biggest fears of parents, but children handle fever much but than adults. Several days of fever in the winter in a child is not unusual and should not cause a lot of worry if your child is hydrated, and despite feeling “yucky” continues to play on occasion, smiles when the fever is down and responds to you, albeit in a pitiful manner.

The biggest things for parents to realize is that a pitiful, sick child is different from a lethargic, inconsolable, child. Pitiful is the adjective I use to describe so many of my sick patients, and children are allowed to be pathetic and pitiful when they are sick (as we would like to act, but we are parents now and don’t get that privilege). When your child is sick and refuses to eat, try popsicles, juice and those forbidden foods that you don’t usually try to get your children to eat. This is not the time to take out all of the healthy fruits and vegetables. The main thing to remember is that with a fever children will require more fluids, and food is fine, but not necessary. Again, when you as a parent have 102

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