Treating the child not the fever

My son followed one of my childhood Christmas traditions this year; he was sick. As a child, I routinely had strep throat during Christmas. This year Jase woke up with a 102 degree temperature on Christmas morning.

My daughter and I had a low-grade fever the weekend before Christmas. Now when I mention this to my husband, his usual response is to give them fever reducing medicine such as children’s ibuprofen. But I am not one to take medicine, unless I really need it. So unless the fever is causing some discomfort, I don’t want to give them medicine to reduce it. I am definitely one to treat the child and not the fever. After all, the fever is there for a reason.

Actually, this time in both incidents, I did reach for the medicine. Lexie complained her head hurt and just wasn’t herself, so we gave her ibuprofen. But the next day, she still had the same low-grade fever but was playing enthusiastically with her brother. No medicine this time.

Now with Jase and Christmas day, we wanted him to enjoy the morning of opening presents, so we convinced him to take some chewable ibuprofen. I say convinced because he really hates taking medicine. Lexie, on the other hand, has been taking some form of medication every day basically since birth and is pretty good about taking her medicine though on some of the nastier tasting antibiotics we do end up bribing her. (Candy works wonders.)

sick childJase took the medicine and had a wonderful Christmas morning. It is amazing that you can see almost exactly when the medicine wears off. His face is flush and he just curls up on the couch. The next day he was feeling even worse and tried a liquid cold medicine. It didn’t go over too well. After that, he refused to take any medicine. And since he fever was under 102, I didn’t force the issue. We just concentrated on giving him fluids and letting him rest.  We offered him anything he wanted to drink, but he stuck with juice (which he almost never drinks) and milk. I was just happy to get him to take anything since he didn’t eat at all the day after Christmas.

Now in this case, we let Jase decide about the medicine, but just so you don’t think he is in charge all the time, if it had been a prescription medication, he wouldn’t have had a choice just like if the fever had been higher than 102, he would not have been the one to decide whether he took it.

That said, it is no fun to be sick while on our Christmas break. But the good news is that he didn’t break his perfect attendance record at school. And as a reward for perfect attendance, he earned a free ticket to tonight’s Spurs game against the Brooklyn Nets. Yep, now that everyone is finally better we are all going to the basketball game. This is Lexie’s first time and could possibly supply a whole new blog topic for new week. We will see. Until then…Go Spurs Go!

One thought on “Treating the child not the fever

  1. […] this twice, I would be following my normal sick day rules – if you aren’t throwing up or running a fever (over 100 degrees) you should be at […]

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