How and what to wipe the child at a temperature?

All mothers know how hard it is when your mother and loved son or daughter get sick. There is a fever in the baby, cheeks burn, and he, as if nothing had happened, runs around the room cheerful and happy, while mother does not find a place for herself. When you are sick, the temperature problem is solved simply: drank aspirin or another antipyretic, and the heat, no matter how it happened. But as for our children, moms tend to stick to their tablets is not an option, because there is a simple and effective way - wiping the child at the temperature of vodka, vinegar and even plain water, contributing to a relatively fast and relatively safe decrease in body temperature values, which we see on the thermometer.

Indications for the procedure

No matter how much we worry about our children, it is important to remember that fever, called fever, is nothing more than a protective-adaptive reaction of the body, which tries to fight the pathogenic factor on its own. And there is nothing wrong with that.

The growth of the indicators of the thermometer we observe with various active bacterial and viral infections, burns and mechanical injuries, internal bleeding. The rise in temperature can also be observed in the postoperative period. Fever may be accompanied by allergic reactions.

The increase in temperature stimulates the reaction of the immune system, which in the human body is just designed to protect the body from all kinds of infections (in particular viruses and bacteria).

Read also: How to knock down the temperature in a child and whether it is worth doing?

In itself, the increase in temperature is a physiologically determined factor that is not capable of harming a small organism until its indices reach certain values at which the process of blood thickening begins. But this already poses a danger not only for the well-being, but also for the life of a small patient, and is the reason for taking urgent measures, such as taking antipyretics or rubbing the child at a temperature.

But do not be scared at once. Critical, i.e. It is considered dangerous for life to have a body temperature of 40 degrees or higher. The increase in body temperature slightly above 37 degrees is due to adaptation factors and changes in the process of thermoregulation. Nevertheless, for many bacteria and viruses, this temperature is already deadly.

What happens to the rest? At 38 degrees, a real fight with the disease begins with the help of antibodies synthesized in the body (interferons). They are the ones that can modify viruses, forcing them to "ache" and gradually leading the pathogenic flora to death.

In principle, even a temperature equal to 38 degrees does not pose a danger to a person, and it does not matter whether it is an adult or a child. So until the temperature of the body reaches a level of 38 degrees, you should not attempt to knock it down. Let the immune system do its work without interference from our side.

It's another matter if a child reacts heavily to a fever, which is quite rare. Many mothers, on the contrary, are surprised that their kids remain active and cheerful even at a temperature of 39 degrees. True, nothing to do with such a high temperature at the root is wrong, because under the influence of a temperature of 38 degrees, processes that interfere with the normal functioning of the body are already beginning to occur.

From all of the above, we conclude that the indications for the procedure for wiping the child are:

  • increase in the temperature of his body above the mark of 38 degrees,
  • if the baby does not tolerate a high temperature, rubbing can be carried out at lower temperatures (preferably not lower than 37.5 degrees),
  • the appearance of febrile convulsions, which sometimes happens in children at high temperatures.


Despite the fact that it is recommended to take the child's rubbing and other measures for lowering the temperature at the body temperature of the baby above 38 degrees, it is necessary to start acting according to the situation.

If a child at 37.5 becomes sluggish, has a painful or tired look, then the first thing you need to put him in bed, to ensure peace and quiet. Doctors recommend at this time to give the child as much fluid as possible. As a drink you can take as pure boiled water, and juices, sweet tea compote. Drinks should not be cold, but too hot to do them also not worth it.

A wonderful effect with a fever caused by an infectious factor is warm tea with raspberries or currants. Reduce the temperature without tablets and rubbing also helps foods rich in vitamin C.

The temperature in the room where the sick child is, should be within 18-21 degrees. In such conditions, the child will feel most comfortable. To maintain the necessary air temperature, you can use air conditioning and a fan, the main thing is that the cold air coming from electrical appliances is not directed at the baby.

It must be ensured that fresh air is available in the room, i. E. It must be regularly ventilated.

If the baby feels well and does not want to lie in bed, do not force him to limit in motion. Enough to give him more to drink.

Clothing should be natural, better cotton. This is necessary so that the child does not overheat during active games and does not provoke an even higher temperature rise.

Particular attention should be paid to children who wear diapers. If the temperature rises, they will have to be abandoned, since they will interfere with the normal heat exchange, creating a greenhouse effect that does not contribute to a decrease in temperature.

For a start, you can try putting a moist cloth on the baby's brow, after moistening it in cool water and wringing it lightly. As soon as the napkin has heated up, it is again cooled in water and put on the forehead of the baby.

If, after all these measures, the temperature continues to rise, you need to be prepared for an active physical effect, helping to cool the baby's skin, while improving heat emission. It is this effect at the temperature that the child wipes, which our mothers and grandmothers have been practicing.

Preparation for wiping reduces to the preparation of water or solution, which we will moisturize the baby's skin, and complete undressing of the baby itself. Do not be afraid that the child can freeze. Worse, if you start to wrap it in warm blankets. Air temperature of about 20 degrees is considered the most comfortable at elevated body temperature.

Some disagreements exist about what should be the temperature of the water or other liquid that will be used for wiping. Some advise wiping to do with water, the temperature of which does not exceed 30-31 degrees, referring to the fact that cooling of the body should occur already at the time of the procedure.

But most still tend to the fact that the temperature of the water for wiping the child must correspond to the normal body temperature, i.е. Be within 36-37 degrees. Thus, it is possible to avoid the chill that occurs when the human body is chilled. Use warm and especially hot water to wipe to reduce the temperature is not recommended.

Technique of the wiping the child at a temperature of

After water or a special solution for wiping the child at a temperature is cooked, and the baby is stripped, you can proceed directly to the procedure itself.

To wipe the baby, you can take a soft waffle towel, a cotton (not synthetic) napkin or a layered bandage. We wet the cloth well in the water, herbal decoction or the prepared solution, lightly squeeze and begin to gently wipe the entire body of the baby.

Begin wiping is recommended from the hands of the baby, then go to the legs, and only then moisturize the entire body, including the face and neck. The movements should not be too intense, especially if the child is very small. It is enough to gently moisten the skin with a tissue, leaving it moisturized. The moisture will evaporate from the surface of the body, and the temperature will gradually subside (usually by 1 -1.5 degrees).

During the wiping of an infant with high body temperature, special attention should be paid to the small folds on the arms, legs and baby's body, and also to the axillary hollows, so that evaporation of moisture occurs over the entire surface of the skin.

During the procedure, it is necessary to monitor the temperature of the liquid used for wiping. Water should not be cold. If the water is cold, you can dilute it hot.

After finishing the procedure of wiping, the body of the child should be left open. If the child is very small or the temperature in the room is just below 18 degrees, you can cover the baby with a thin sheet or diaper.

Wiping with water and herbal preparations

So, we figured out how to properly wipe the child, and at what temperature of the body it is carried out. It's time to figure out which fluids and compounds can be used for the procedure described above.

The most popular and safe liquid used for wiping is clean, heated water. Wiping with water at a high temperature in a child is suitable for any age, starting with infants, since it does not cause unpleasant sensations and allergic reactions.

Wipe with water is recommended to practice at a temperature even the doctors themselves, as an independent tool or together with other methods of lowering the temperature.

But water is not the only liquid that can be used to wipe the baby at a temperature. Instead of water, you can take a decoction of medicinal herbs, which the mother usually uses to bath the baby. Wipe off with a decoction (infusion) of room temperature.

Such wiping has a positive effect on the skin of the child, which under heat is subjected to overdrying. The main thing is that the use of herbal infusion or decoction does not cause an allergic reaction in the child.

Read also: Rubbing vodka at a temperature: proportions and how to do

Wiping with vinegar and vodka

Water and herbal preparations for which the child does not have allergies can not harm the child's body, which can not be said about vinegar. Attitude to wiping with vinegar at the temperature of the child in doctors and parents is twofold. Some of them consider this procedure not useful, but, on the contrary, harmful for the baby, as vinegar can cause burning and drying of tender baby skin.

Doctors often oppose the wiping of children with vinegar, especially if their age is less than 3 years. They refer to the fact that such a procedure contributes to intoxication of the child's body, because acetic acid itself in the vinegar is able to penetrate through the pores on the skin, and its evaporation enters the respiratory tract of the baby. But if there is no other possibility to quickly knock down the temperature, you can resort to vinegar wiping.

Nevertheless, many parents successfully apply this method of fighting high temperatures, considering it more effective than wiping with plain water. The effect of such wiping is noticeable much faster, because vinegar removes fat from the skin, reducing the surface tension of droplets of liquid and sweat, and hence the process of evaporation of moisture is more active.

It is clear that for wiping do not use pure vinegar, which can leave burns on the skin. This is an aqueous solution of vinegar (9% table or apple). Acetic acid for these purposes is not recommended, because it will be difficult to maintain the optimal proportions, so that the effect is, and harm to the health of the baby does not cause.

Optimum is the following ratio of water and vinegar: for 500 ml of warm water take 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Water should be taken warm, so that after the addition of vinegar, its temperature does not become below 36 degrees and does not cause the baby to tremble. Mixing water with vinegar is recommended in glass, ceramic, porcelain or enamelware.

From time immemorial, another effective formulation is an aqueous solution of alcohol. Most often at home alcohol is replaced with regular 40% vodka.

Wiping of the child at the temperature of vodka is carried out by analogy with vinegar. In warm water add 1 tablespoon of vodka or twice less alcohol, after which the water-alcohol solution gently rub the skin of the baby all over the body.

Such rubbing is unacceptable in the treatment of children younger than 7 years. So our ancestors thought. As for the opinion of doctors, they are overwhelmingly categorically against such a procedure. In young children, a sharp smell of alcohol (as, indeed, vinegar) can cause a spasm of the airways. Passing through the baby's skin, alcohol causes poisoning of the body, and besides, its effect does not quite correspond to the circumstances. The fact that cooling the skin, alcohol in parallel increases the temperature of the internal organs, which is a great danger to the body.

As an option, some practice vodka-acetic rubbing of a child at high temperature. To prepare the composition for wiping mix in equal parts vodka, vinegar and water. The composition is prepared in a preheated cookware so that its temperature is not lower than room temperature.

And again, having a sharp unpleasant smell, such a composition for wiping can provoke a respiratory spasm in the baby, and its effect on the child's body will be more likely to be negative (intoxication) than positive (a decrease in temperature).

As experience shows, the temperature in most cases decreases with the use of any composition for wiping. But since the effect of this procedure is most often temporary and multiple repetitions may be required, it is worthwhile to think about its safety when choosing an effective method.

Even a single wipe with vodka or vinegar can harm the baby, and what can we say about two or three times or more. So it may be worthwhile still not to risk and stop at the safest of the methods of lowering the temperature in children - wiping with water?

Read also: Wiping with vinegar at high temperature: the right proportions

Contraindications to the procedure

Despite the fact that wiping a child at a temperature is considered the safest method of fighting fever, and its use must be approached with caution. There are situations when the most seemingly elementary and harmless procedure with an incorrect approach brings with it big problems. And the parents themselves, who did not take into account that any drug or method of treatment, may have their contraindications to the use of the medicine or the procedure.

The least danger to the health of the baby is rubbing it with plain water. Relative contraindication to such a procedure is only a temperature above 39.5 degrees and close to critical. Such a high temperature by usual wiping is unlikely to be knocked down, but it is possible to wait for complications from it with ineffective treatment with a high probability.

But before you practice wiping with vinegar or vodka, you need to take into account the physiological characteristics of the baby's body and the diseases that are present in it.

Vinegar and vodka can be irritating to damaged skin. So it is impossible to wipe with such aggressive solutions if the child's skin has wounds, scratches or other injuries, including manifestations of many skin diseases (skin irritation, rash, sweat).

Vapors of alcohol and acetic acid can provoke a child's spasm of the respiratory system. So the procedure for wiping the body of the baby with aqueous solutions of vinegar and vodka is contraindicated in children with bronchial asthma because of the danger of an attack of the disease. Negative reaction to the sharp smells can and allergies, as well as kids with a cough.

By and large, most doctors agree on the opinion that rubbing with vinegar and vodka is contraindicated to young children in general. Children under the age of 3 do not exactly do it.

Pediatricians do not recommend performing any rubbing of a child at a temperature if the baby is not feeling well or is shivering. Do not do rubbing and with diarrhea, the acute stage of any disease, exacerbation of any chronic pathology, a tendency to allergic reactions.

If the child is feverish, but his hands and feet remain cold at the same time, rubbing also does not.

Consequences after the procedure

The consequences of the shortsightedness of parents practicing the wiping of children with vodka-vinegar solutions, visible already during the procedure itself or after it, become respiratory spasms, allergic reactions, poisoning of the tender child organism with harmful toxic substances in the composition of alcohol and vinegar. Hence the diseases of the respiratory system, liver and kidneys, a significant decrease in immunity, and as a consequence, new diseases that occur with or without temperature.

Complications after the procedure

Undoubtedly, a sudden rapid rise in temperature in a child is dangerous for a child's body. That there are only febrile convulsions, lasting up to 15 minutes and so frightening the parents of the baby, not to mention the pathological changes in the body.

But after all, the sharp drop in temperature that we observe after wiping the child at high temperature with aqueous solutions of vinegar and alcohol is no less dangerous. True, not everyone knows about this. Optimum is the decrease in body temperature within 1 hour to 1-1.5 degrees. If this figure is doubled, the risk of developing a child with acute vascular insufficiency, called scientific collapse, is great.

Such complication after the procedure of wiping the child at high temperature is considered very dangerous, as it is accompanied by disorders of cerebral circulation and, as a consequence, oxygen starvation of the brain.

As for wiping with vodka, the following picture is observed here: the procedure causes spasm of the central and peripheral vessels, which provokes a weakening of the blood flow, slows the heat transfer, decreases the amount of sweat secreted. It turns out that only the skin and muscle tissue cool down, while the temperature of the internal organs continues to grow, posing a danger to the life of the baby.

Care after the procedure

Carry out the procedure for wiping the child at a temperature preferably for 15-20 minutes, after which the baby is left undressed to avoid hampering and lowering the temperature. If desired, you can blow the baby with air through a 5-minute blower using a hair dryer switched on for a small amount of power. In this case, the air will be warm, not hot, capable of provoking a new attack of fever.

If the room is cool, it is better to put the child in bed and cover it with a light cotton print-sheet, leaving the baby's handles and legs open. But to wrap a child in warm clothes or a blanket is by no means possible, otherwise the procedure will have the opposite effect.

Thoracic children after wiping can be loosely covered with a sheet, but again not a flannel, but a cotton one.

If the baby's skin after wiping with aqueous solutions of vodka or vinegar has irritations, it is necessary to rinse it with clean water, and then wipe with a tissue moistened in broth (infusion) of chamomile, string or marigold. It will help to remove irritation and lubrication of the skin with anti-inflammatory or soothing baby cream.

If there is no effect and a further increase in temperature, as well as when symptoms of intoxication appear in the child, it is urgent to call an "emergency room" so that the specialists can provide the child with qualified assistance.

What method of lowering the temperature in your child will parents choose only for them. But still in a state of panic (and this is the tendency of most mothers), do not forget that the goal does not always justify the means, especially if it is about the health of the child.

It is important to know!

If you combine a walk with a dream, then there will be no difference from what has been described before. You dress the child according to the weather, remembering that in the cold season there should be as many layers of clothing on it as there are on you plus one. Read more..

Last reviewed by: Aleksey Portnov , medical expert, on 25.06.2018

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