You asked

Should I give my child a sponge bath or a drawn bath to lower her temperature?

When your child has a fever, his body is fighting off an infection and the fever may just need to run its course. Especially a fever that is lower than 103 degrees Fahrenheit (39.4 degrees Celsius). You probably should not do anything to lower it.

When a fever starts getting higher, it can be uncomfortable for your child. The first suggestion is to give him a children’s pain reliever that will bring down the temperature so he can be more comfortable.

For some children, a pain reliever is not an option. Your child may have a stomach virus and cannot keep anything down. Giving him a pill to swallow, or a liquid medication may make him vomit. This is when you can try to lower the fever with a sponge bath or a bath.

Make sure that the bath water is lukewarm or warm. A cold bath could cause chills which will make his fever raise more. It’s perfectly fine to use a cool washcloth on the forehead. This is pleasing and will make a child with fever feel more comfortable.

Before there were over the counter pain relievers that reduce fever, bathing a child with a fever was a common way to lower the fever. Additionally, alcohol baths were frequently used. Today, it is recommended to use children’s pain and fever reducers instead. An alcohol bath can cool a child down too fast and cause the fever to quickly spike to a dangerous level.

Lastly, do not over clothe a child or pile on too many blankets when your child has a fever. It is common for parents to bundle up a child with a fever, when in fact you are only keeping his body temperature high. Dress him appropriately for the room temperature and don’t let him get chilled.

More questions

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