Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sponging baby with a high fever

My 3 year old boy had a high fever that wouldn't go away recently so we took him to the paediatrician. The paediatrician said we had to sponge a child with high fever of more than 38.5C. She said that we could do this at home for children over 3 months but for babies younger than 3 months, one has to give syrup paracetamol, sponge and seek medical help immediately. So its always important to stock up on syrup paracetamol at home because you never know when you might need it. My boy's fever came on quite suddenly at night.

At home we merely put a wet towel over his face and neck area or rub his back with a wet towel if it was too hot but this is what they did at the clinic. (Baby's fever was 40C when we arrived at the clinic).

Before sponging, they gave baby a suppository through the anus. For the sponging, first they switched off the air-conditioning in the room. Then they brought in a tub of water and two wet towels. After that they removed all his clothing. Then they wrapped one wet towel over his tummy and legs and used the other to sponge him all over, arms, hands, face and including his hair and back. They rinsed the towels and repeated this process of wrapping and sponging baby over and over again for about 10 minutes.

Poor baby was very unhappy. He cried "Don't want already. Don't want already." My poor baby.

When they were done, they gave us a dry towel to dry baby. We dressed baby after that. Baby's fever still showed a reading of 39C. The paeditrician instructed us to put baby under the fan for 1/2 hour when we got home. The paeditrician said that sponging the baby was necessary to bring his fever down quickly to prevent a febrile seizure.

Baby's fever came on and off over 2-3 days. He was given antibiotics and is still on it. He hates the taste of it but takes it like a good boy when I tell him that it will make him well faster so he can eat his favourite foods again. I tell him to take the medicine as fast as he can in one mouthful so it will be over quickly and he tries his best. Baby is much better now. Phew! Now lets hope his sister doesn't fall sick!

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  1. It's very worrying for parents when children have fever. I remember trying to squirt medicine into my little sick babies only to have it all come back out. Thank goodness now they are older, they are okay gulping it down.

  2. I'm glad he is feeling better.

  3. lian,
    Yes, the squirting part was hard! Haha. Its easier now that they are older and can negotiate or reason with them. :)

    Thanks but he's till coughing and having a runny nose and is slightly warm. :(

    Thanks for the reminder. Hehe.

  4. thanks for dropping by my blog. Feel sorry for your baby. it's kind of uneasy to see baby get sick. Wish you all healthy! :)

    Normally if I do it at home, besides forehead, I will sponge my baby's underarms and under tights by letting the cold towel hang in there for a while. Then, keep repeating it for about half an hour. But, I will never put my baby under the fan. Sometimes, it's better to be in air con room rather than under the fan if the sickness involve flu.

    LOL! May be when I am free I can write a short post about this topic, sorry for being so long winded in ur comment column.

    take care, ya...

  5. everydayhealy,
    Not long winded at all and I look forward to reading your post. Let me know when you're done. :)

  6. hi hi....i came across this while searching around for sponging method. U know, yest i sponge kor-kor until 30mins!

    Miche told me if boys got to sponge their balls too (so that their reproductive system wont get too hot).

  7. Hi,
    my english not so good but will try to share my experience..my doter 5 years old already..

    from my experience..when you feel your child's body a bit warm than their normal temperature which sometimes we think it's nothing..give your child syrup paracetamol in less dos suggested on the label..so far it works for me..she'll be ok after that..

    but if it's too late before you realize your child had a high fever..these what i usually do..

    1. NO FAN..no aircond
    2. Immediately give the syrup paracetamol..follow the schedule until he/she ok...
    3.Do the sponging thing..i'll sponge like every 5 minutes continuously, until she is cool & i'm really sure that her high fever is gone..not for 30 minutes only..so far the high fever will only last for 24 - 36 hrs..sometime less than that..
    4. One more tips..bath your child in the morning..like 8am - 9am..make sure you WET the head thoroughly and long enaugh..make it fun..it will helps cool down the body & head temperature besides it make your child happy & fun..& sometimes it will help them to eat better...

    these are my experience for the past 5 years...the sponging is the most important thing..sometimes i'm too tired & sleepy to do the sponging when she had the high fever at night..it means..i sponged her every 2-3 hours only..if this happen..normally her fever will be more than 2 days...

    hope my experience can give some info to others :)..& tq for ur info about the permanent & milk teeth.. :)


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