An Academy of Pediatrics report out this week should help a few of us parents rest a little easier the next time one of our kids has a fever.  According to this ap article, fever is our body's way of fighting off infection  and the most important reason to give our kids fever fighting medicine is to help our kids stay comfortable, not to try to  "getting the fever down".

Most often, kids' fevers are caused by viruses and they will go away without medicine and without causing any damage. Parents tend to overtreat fevers, even waking up sleeping kids to give them fever-reducing medicine, Farrar said. "If they're sleeping, let them sleep," he said.

The doctors also suggest using warnings signs, other than just whether they have a fever or not, to determine if they should take a child to the doctor or not .

Parents should pay attention to other symptoms of illness, such as whether the child is unusually cranky, lethargic, or not drinking liquids and avoiding food. Those are often better measures of how sick a child is and whether medical attention should be sought, the authors said.

I think this is really good information. The only time I've ever taken one of my children to the Emergency Room late at night was due to a high fever we couldn't get to come down. After reading this article, maybe I should have just let him sleep.

For those interested, here's a link to the full report.