When the child is feverish, that is, when he shivers and then seems to be flushed, with the skin hot and dry, he should be put to bed. Every mother ought to know how to take the temperature, and such nursing details will be considered fully in the Home Nursing Section.
If the child's temperature is above normal, which is 984 degrees Fahrenheit, he ought to be kept in bed and given light diet and a dose of fluid magnesia. These simple measures will often suffice if the feverishness is due to some error in diet or slight chill and fatigue. Even when the cause is more serious, the mother can feel that she has taken due precautions which will affect for the better any illness that may develop. During a feverish attack the child is very restless, and tosses about in discomfort. In such cases, rapid sponging of the body with equal parts of whisky and tepid water is an excellent measure for bringing down the temperature.
Care must be taken not to expose the child unnecessarily to the air by sponging and drying one part at a time. If he complains of thirst, sips of cold water may be given, but he should not be allowed to drink a large quantity of cold water. Gruel and hot milk are quite sufficient in the way of food, and he may have a cupful of this every two hours. If a child's temperature keeps up for more than a few hours, a doctor should be summoned, as all illnesses are best attended to at the beginning.