How to Reduce a Toddler's Fever


You took your toddler's temperature as soon as you noticed her flushed cheeks and slightly glazed eyes -- and you were right -- she has a fever. Fevers signal her body is fighting the illness, but if it makes her uncomfortable, there are natural remedies as well as over-the-counter medications you can use to bring her fever down.

Things You'll Need

  • Washcloth
  • Lukewarm water
  • Bathtub
  • Fan
  • Over-the-counter medication
  • Cold foods
  • Cold drinks
  • Use a washcloth and water. If your toddler is willing to lay down or sit quietly, while your read her a book or let her sleep, put a washcloth dampened with cool water across her forehead. Wring it out to avoid getting her soaked with water, but leave enough in the cloth to keep it cool for several minutes.

  • Put her in the tub. A lukewarm bath will cool her skin as the water evaporates. If no tub is available, or your toddler objects, try a sponge bath. Dip the sponge into lukewarm water and rub it over your toddler's arms, chest, back and legs.

  • Remove clothing layers. If she is bundled up, her body is going to retain heat. Take her down to a shirt and shorts, or perhaps a light cotton dress, and her temperature may begin to fall.

  • Plug in a room fan. Let it circulate the air, without having it blow directly on your toddler. If she is in light clothing layers and playing in a room with a fan, her body temperature may come down.

  • Use over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Carefully read and follow the directions and be sure to buy medications that are made specifically for toddlers. Give her the appropriate dose for her weight. Call the pediatrician with any questions about medications.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep plenty of cool foods in the house. Ice pops, ice cream and ice chips cool her from the inside out, and she will have fun eating them.
  • Do not give her aspirin, as it has been linked to Reye's syndrome, which is dangerous and potentially fatal.
  • If she has health issues such as asthma, or kidney or liver disease, or is dehydrated, check with her doctor before giving her ibuprofen.


  • Photo Credit Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images
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