How to comfort a sick child

When kids don't feel well, Mom and Dad can help.

To comfort a sick child, try rocking, cuddling, talking or doing things that calm your child finds calming. Avoid extreme temperatures: Don't make the room or bed too warm, or use alcohol rubs or cold-water baths to bring down a fever.

To reduce your ill child’s symptoms, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you:

  • call your child’s pediatrician and describe your child’s symptoms 
  • remove excess clothing or blankets to help bring down their fever 
  • give a lukewarm bath 
  • follow a schedule for acetaminophen and ibuprofen as directed by your pediatrician 
  • serve bland food and hydrate your child with water, diluted fruit juices or popsicles 
  • provide a comfortable place to rest 
  • check on them frequently 
  • follow up with your pediatrician if symptoms linger

Finding a pediatrician your child is comfortable with is important.
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