13 answers

Cool Bath for Fever? Warm Bath for Fever?

I have ALWAYS thought, if your child has a fever you put them in a cool bath to lower their temperature.. My friend told me today, that it's not true. She said you put them in a warm, not hot, bath. If they go into a cool bath, your body will automatically gets chills. Chills give your body a reaction to automatically warm itself up to help stop the chills... With that being said, getting chills won't "lower" your temperature, it will "raise" it.... Thoughts?

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So What Happened?™

Thanks moms!!! No more cool baths :)

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Yes, I do believe that is right, although it isn't the opinion that once was! I just wish some of these old wives tales would stay true, it's hard to keep up! ;)

Even when my kids have super high fevers, I find that just sticking with the Tylenol/Motrin works the best. Usually they are so miserable the last thing they want to do is get in the tub.

3 moms found this helpful

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A "tepid" bath.
ie: slightly warm.

Never a "cold" bath.

Fever, serves a purpose. To fight the virus/illness.
If the fever is very high then you do need to bring it down. With a tepid bath, or cool wash cloth on the forehead or under the armpits. Or via Tylenol or Motrin and fluids.
But it the child is still sick... the fever WILL return.
These methods only serves to temporarily, reduce the fever and discomfort. But if the child is still sick, the fever will return.

Fever... also can cause headache or chills. Regardless if they are in a bath or not.
A person, can have a fever, and feel hot, but have chills at the same time. It is because the body is fighting the illness.
Just because a person has "chills" it does not mean they don't have a fever. They still do have a fever and a temperature reflecting the fever.

5 moms found this helpful

My Mother and Mother-in-Law both stated MANY times - hot/warm/tepid to cold and as the water cools it pulls the fever from you....

If you start out cold - your body will go into heat up mode.

I have never been steered wrong by either my mother or MIL when it came to taking care of my kids when they were sick.

4 moms found this helpful

I know of a child who was running a high fever and his father put him in an ice cold bath and it sent him into a seizure. A bathwater similar to body temperature is best. I always put a cool washrag on their head and tummy.

4 moms found this helpful

Yes, I do believe that is right, although it isn't the opinion that once was! I just wish some of these old wives tales would stay true, it's hard to keep up! ;)

Even when my kids have super high fevers, I find that just sticking with the Tylenol/Motrin works the best. Usually they are so miserable the last thing they want to do is get in the tub.

3 moms found this helpful

Very true. If you cool off a child with a fever too fast, they can go into a febrile seizure. You want to cool them off slowly... put them in a lukewarm-slightly warm bath. Let them sit in it as the water cools on it's own. :)

My general guidelines for fevers are as follows...

99-102, but acting 'normal' (playing, happy) = do nothing. Let the fever go.

100-103, acting 'off' (clingy, grouchy, obviously not feeling good) (or 102+, acting normal) I will try to cool with the bath, cool cloths, etc. If they STAY hot and grouchy after that, I give Tylenol (in addition to other cool-off methods).

Anything over 103, extended fever, or worsening fever I call the pediatrician and follow his advice. :)

3 moms found this helpful

I know when my kids were younger they said dump their poor butts in ice water. I only freaked out once enough to do it. She lived. Apparently the new thought is the cool bath.

At least from my experience it is getting something in them so their body lowers its own temperature. So after abusing my second in this manner I just gave them Tylenol and monitored that their temperature was going down.

2 moms found this helpful

When my oldest was 21 months he had croup and a high fever (nearly 105). We called my MIL who is a pediatric nurse and she told us to give him a cool bath... and medicate (tylenol - which of course we were doing).

His fever wasn't going down, I was freaking out (I also had a newborn) so we called the nurse line. She said TAKE HIM OUT OF THE TUB for the exact reason your friend said.

Just goes to show that even nurses can be out of date on what's current and it's always best to call if you have a question.

2 moms found this helpful

TEPID ... basically one or two degrees lower than what they are, so if they are 101 do a 99 bath.

Obviously if they are very little they can not have a 99 bath, try to keep it close though, and NOT cold.

1 mom found this helpful

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