Simply put, yes fevers do get worse at night, for everyone and anyone, going to bed makes a fever worse, baby’s, children and toddlers especially feel symptoms of a fever worse at night when they should be resting and often feel significant discomfort and unrest due to this.
It is very stressful for any parent to be woken at night, by cries and coughs, to find your baby upset and distressed because they are in pain or can’t sleep.
You have spent all day doing you bets to fight away a fever and now once they finally have gone to sleep to get some much-needed rest, they are worse than ever.
Usually it will only take a few days for a normal fever to pass in your child, but no matter what you do, the evening hours are where they appear to suffer most.
Essentials of every household – First Aid Kit (Thermometers, Band Aids, etc)
Hopefully you’ll have seen my other article where i reviewed the most accurate thermometer for toddlers and infants. You really do need accurate readings to understand whether a fever is peaking or becoming dangerous. You’ll get info on the best methods too such as ear, forehead, armpit & rectal temperature readings. Go check it out.
Let’s get back to this for now.
Why Do Fevers Rise?
There is no one answer for why a child’s fever gets worse, but some expert believe that it is as simple as their immune system becoming tired from fighting the fever all day, sleep is essential for energy levels and to build back the bodies immunity.
Throughout the day, eating, drinking, gentle resting and napping help fight of the fever, but once put to bed there is nothing to fight off the symptoms of the fever, but the tired immune system of your child.
This is the same for anyone, but if it were you, you could easily dose up on medication or sleeping tablets and go to sleep, you can manage any of your own symptoms and look after yourself, a child cant.
If you did the same thing to your child you could cause more harm than good, they need good natural sleep and if they have any discomfort or ailments, they need to be able to wake up and let you know by crying or calling for you.
There is no instant cure or solution to this, you’re all in this battle together, no-one is getting a good night’s sleep until the fever is over, but here are some tips on how you can help your child fight it off and what to look out for.
Keep Children Hydrated
One way to combat some symptoms that may rise over night is to keep your child, toddler or baby hydrated, with a fever they are already at a high risk of dehydrating anyway.
If your baby wakes in the night, try to give them am electrolyte re-hydration fluid to help them settle back down.
If your child is slightly older, then water, juice or even broth will do the same trick.
Getting dehydrated is nothing abnormal, the thing to look out for is if your baby is crying, but has no tears and a dry sticky mouth, this is when you should contact a doctor, this is a sign of dehydration and could be harmful.
Give Kids A Lukewarm Soak
If your child is struggling to go to sleep, then a lukewarm soak could help.
This can soothe them and soothe the symptoms of the fever enough that they may drift back to sleep.
It is important to stop if they begin to shiver as this mean they are too cold and shivering will worsen their fever, keeping them warm is important, but also don’t let them overheat.
A Good Bit OF Fresh Air
If your child is having trouble breathing or is overheating and red in the face, then wrap them up and take them out in the cool air, even just some fresh air will help soothe them and cool them down.
Don’t keep them outside too long enough, just long enough for things to settle down or for them to start drifting off.
Don’t leave their window open over night as temperatures can raise and drop very quickly and could make the fever worse, manage their temperature carefully. Taking regular readings with an accurate and reliable children thermometer.
The first thing we as adults do whenever we are ill is reach for the medication and dose up, this isn’t always necessary though. Firstly i’m more an advocate of natural options (turmeric based remedies for example are great, plentiful of health benefits).
Especially with children, or infants, using ibuprofen and fever reducing medication unnecessarily could make things worse and drag out the fever.
If you have seen or spoken to a doctor they should have given you an idea of how bad the fever is and would have advised whether medication is necessary and would help.
If not, don’t be afraid to call and speak to your doctor, better to be safe than sorry, they will let you know the best thing to do.
When To Get Medical Assistance For Your Child
Most doctors will tell you that on average an infant’s temperature will be around 38 degrees Celsius, anything higher than this is troubled waters.
Try to manage your child fever as much as you can, but once they start to reach 40 degrees Celsius and rising, it is time to call a doctor or emergency care provide.
For older children the temperatures are more or less the same, ever so slightly higher, but you should take the same action.
If your child is lethargic, unresponsive or won’t eat or drink this is also a time to seek medical help or advice, don’t wait or try to deal with this yourself, you could cause more harm than good.
If you ever find yourself dealing with unexpected symptoms or a situation you don’t think is OK, then contact your doctor or medical advice.
It isn’t worth risking your child’s health, there are numbers you can call for help and advice and if you wake your Doctor up, they will understand, though they may not appreciate it too much.
I am sure they would sleep better knowing your child is safe.
The Best Thing You Can Do – Being A Diligent Parent
The best thing to do is always make sure you have sought medical advice and aren’t going out on a whim to treat your child’s fever.
Hopefully this should make those sleepless nights slightly less numerous and significantly more manageable, so you can all get back to sleeping soundly through the night.