Getting fluids into a feverish child

Well our daughter is going through the 3yr old molars... we think. She has been feverish for the past two days and we have been keeping it at bay with medication and plenty of liquids. This is her first fever ever so we have been fumbling about trying to figure out ways to get fluids into her since it seems sick kids dislike anything that could help them... you know, medicine, water, food, etc. Its important to keep giving children fluids when they are on medication too as it can be dehydrating.

So if your struggling to get your child to take in fluids, here are some ideas that might tickle their fancy -

* Different cups. A special new cup with sparkles or a picture of robots or whatever else your little one likes might spark some interest. Plastic cups are relatively cheap and worth getting fluid into a feverish child. You could try letting them use a "big girl/boy" cup and let them use one of your coffee mugs. If you have a few different kinds of cups, mix it up.

* Straws. Drinking out of straws is usually saved for parties or eating out. you can buy packs of 50 or 100 standard straws for next to nothing from the supermarket or $2 shop, or you could go fancy and get some "crazy straws" you know the colourful ones that have a twirl in them? These ones cost a little more (not much) and you can re-use them again and again. Kids love straws. And its easier for a sick kid to drink from a straw for some reason too.

* Ice Ice Baby! Ice is great, they can poke it, lick it, suck it, play with it (even just touching it will help with body temperature), chew it and make it bob around in the cup, hooray for ice! To make it even more appealing, you can freeze fruit inside of it. Our daughter loves strawberries, so we chop up strawberries into quarters and pop them in ice trays, fill with water, and there you have it. They have to either suck the ice or drink their water while waiting for the ice to melt, in order to get the strawberry inside. (kiwi fruit and cherries work well too).

* give them a cool bath. If your desperate, it just might work. Firstly it'll definitely help getting the temperature down, but alot of kids have a horrible habit of drinking the bathwater. Do we hate it? sure we do, Do we want them drinking it? Not really... but in this case, it may be the only way to get fluids down them! just forget any bubbles or products to keep it as "pure" as possible. A more sanitary option is a shower of course. Get them to brush their teeth while they are in there because alot of kids drink the rinse water instead of gargling it lol.

* Icy Poles - not ice cream, icy poles. Of any and all kinds. You can buy them in bulk, although they are sugary they are fluid! Or better still you can make your own. Use Diluted fruit juice or even cordial. If you don't have icy pole moulds (they are available at discount stores usually) then just use ice cube trays to make "mini pops" and stick a pop-stick in the middle of each cube when its firmed up a little (you'll have to keep your eye on it coz once hard, there's no getting that popstick in). When you make them yourself they aren't as sugary so you can give it to them alot more often. most kids go for this, no questions asked.

* Watery Fruit - Pineapple and Watermelon are the two that come to my mind. If your little one loves fruit, make up a fruit salad of fruits that have a high water content.

* Have a "tea party" with a little girl. Fill the teacups with water, or a toy kettle with water, let her pour them, and drink it with her. She might just go for a little make believe play. If your child is really sick she may not be up for it, but some personalities jump at this.

* Coloured Water - one drop of food colouring turns water into a pool of colour. The novelty may work for some kids.

* Juice Boxes. I'm not a huge fan of juice boxes, they are expensive, some have preservatives, and are too concentrated. But for the sake of getting a child to drink whilst sick, they are a great tool. its not going to hurt them occasionally and here is the right occasion. You can purchase little kids juice boxes that are mixed weaker. They are more expensive but good for the sugar and preservative conscious parent. Our daughter wouldn't touch any liquid, out comes the juice box, she drank a whole one in a matter of minutes then played with the straw.

* Lastly, just try to fit it in throughout the day, make it a "before we" thing. For example "Yes sweetie we can draw a picture. Lets have a quick sip of our drinks before we draw the picture" (then put the drink to the child's lips). A child who is thinking ahead to an activity of some sort, will usually take a small sip or two without even thinking about it. another example "Were going to visit the doctor now, here's some juice to drink before we go" (stand at the door with the car keys whilst doing this, he/she will want to get out and will take a quick sip)

So I hope these have given you some good ideas. Remember that a very high fever is extremely dangerous for a child and these methods should absolutely NOT replace medical attention. Most children's medications state that they should not be used for more than 48 hrs straight, keep that in mind, see your doctor. Be wise, supervise. Keep an eye on the temperature, be ready to seek out a doctor or go to the hospital if your child's temperature soars or she remains sick. These suggestions are just to keep a child's fluids up.