Study: Having a fever could be a good thing
7 Healthcast: Study: Having a fever could be a good thing
UNDATED -- For parents it's a knee-jerk response when your child has a fever, you go straight for the medicine cabinet.
But now pediatricians are saying slow down, having a fever could be a good thing.
"It is a sign of infection, but also can stimulate your body to fight that infection," said Janice Sullivan, MD, from the University of Louisville.
Fever triggers a spike in white blood cells -- the body's army for fighting germs. It also slows down the bacteria or virus' ability to reproduce.
Sullivan at the University of Louisville authored the report.
“The focus should not be on obtaining a normal temperature, but making sure your child is comfortable and looking for other signs of illness that would make you take that child to the doctor," said Sullivan.
Signs like dehydration, difficulty breathing and excessive sleepiness. Parents should call the pediatrician if their child's fever tops 101 degrees.
Infants with a temperature higher than 100.4 degrees need to be seen right away.
Doctors say you are not harming your child by treating their fever, but there could be an unintended consequence.
"Their fever being lower, their illness may be longer," said Sullivan.
As long as they're comfortable and hydrated, a little TLC is the best medicine.
Doctors say more than 50 percent of parents give their children the wrong dose of medicine. They say it is important to use the correct measuring device and not a teaspoon.
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