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When a child has a high fever, should you cover them up with a blanket or strip them down to underwear?

I know that you need to get the fever down. But I also know that you can have the chills when you have a fever.

So which is it?

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Asked by mom2twobabes at 8:07 PM on Mar. 16, 2009 in Kids' Health

Level 22 (12,305 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • If the child is old enough to tell you if they are hot or cold go by that. If it is a baby I would do a light blanket.

    Answer by goaliemom93 at 8:10 PM on Mar. 16, 2009

  • Strip them down to undies. Adults are supposed to cover up....

    Answer by TLALONDE16 at 8:18 PM on Mar. 16, 2009

  • Our pediatrician has always said to keep them dressed in light clothing and offer them a sheet if they are cold because you do not want to overheat them, but you do want them to be comfortable if they are chilled.

    Answer by AprilDJC at 9:07 PM on Mar. 16, 2009

  • Strip 'em sounds terrible though :(

    Answer by ReneeK3 at 9:03 AM on Mar. 17, 2009

  • For a baby/toddler who cannot tell you how they feel, just go by the temp and keep in them in something comfortable, like just a cotton tshirt (make sure it's breathable fabric, not polyesther or whatnot). My girl had a virus back in November when it was freezing outside (we were in Oregon) and our Naturopathic doctor told me to keep her in a light, breathable fabric, and if her temp gets up to high (like it did when she decided to take a nap on Daddy, they are both very warm naturally), then to put her in a lukewarm bath, nothing too hot and nothing too cold, and it will help the fever come down. As long as the child is eating, drinking, and not lethargic, then you should be able to forgo the doctor or ER, but keep an eye on the temp and their actions, if they become too hot and the temp won't go down or they aren't drinking enough fluids or they become too tired/lethargic, then definitely bring them in to the doc or ER.

    Answer by DreaKevAiyana at 9:35 AM on Mar. 17, 2009

  • Children should not be overdressed indoors, even in the winter.
    Overdressing keeps the body from cooling using evaporation, radiation, conduction, or convection.
    Most practical is to dress the child in a single layer of clothing and cover the child with a sheet or light blanket.
    A sponge bath in warm water will help reduce a fever.
    This is usually not needed but may more quickly reduce the fever.
    Put the child in a few inches of warm water and use a sponge or washcloth to wet the skin of the body and arms and legs.
    The water itself does not cool the child. The evaporation of the water off the skin does, so do not cover the child with wet towels.

    Answer by brees3 at 9:53 AM on Mar. 17, 2009

  • strip them but if they still want to be covered give them a light sheet or something like that

    Answer by mominbolt at 9:59 AM on Mar. 17, 2009

  • You need to strip them down because the heat needs to escape from their bodies. I learned from my mistake. I covered up my son and his fever sky rocketed to 103.5 and he went into febril seizures (I think that's how you spell it). I took him to the hospital and as soon as the fever went down the seizures went away. If the fever is climbing or is really high put cold compresses to the head and body.

    Answer by kaptekarev at 10:10 AM on Mar. 17, 2009

  • I always but a cold wet rag on my kids head when they have a fever...does that not help?

    As for the OQ: I go based on what they tell me. If they're cold we get a blanket, if they're hot we take a cool bath or take off some clothes.

    Answer by munch12502 at 10:17 AM on Mar. 17, 2009

  • neither. You don't need them to be naked, but you don't want them to be overdressed either. Regular clothing indoors shirt/shorts or light pants etc. You want to regulate their temperature, not completely change their body temp by either over heating or making them cold.

    If they are old enough to tell you how they feel, then let them decide if they want a blanket or not. Generally with a fever an older child will know what makes them feel better.

    Also, you can try wet rags on the ankles. It will draw the fever down which is a good thing. My daughter loves it, and she's 2..

    Answer by celticreverie at 10:20 AM on Mar. 17, 2009

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