As to sponge baths to bring down the temperature, use lukewarm rather than cool water since cool water will make your child shiver and drive the temperature higher. Please do not give your febrile child an alcohol bath, even if you got one when growing up, since we now know that these can cause drops in blood sugar and even a serious convulsion. So, no alcohol baths for your hot tot.
Hopefully, tips like these will burn brightly in your minds so you can stay calm, cool, and collected the next time your young child has a fever.
Lewis First, M.D., is chief of Pediatrics at Vermont Children's Hospital at Fletcher Allen and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Vermont College of Medicine.