7 doctors weighed in:

Can rubbing alcohol reduce a baby's fever?

7 doctors weighed in
2 doctors agree

In brief: No

If you use rubbing alcohol on a chiilds skin you risk both absorption through the skin as well as inhalation of the fumes, both toxic to children.

In brief: No

If you use rubbing alcohol on a chiilds skin you risk both absorption through the skin as well as inhalation of the fumes, both toxic to children.
Dr. Josephine Ruiz-Healy
Dr. Josephine Ruiz-Healy
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Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: No

The quick answer is "no", because rubbing alcohol on babies is not done nowadays.
Alcohol on the skin evaporates, and so cools the skin down. It is possible that the fever will decrease if enough skin-cooling occurs. But just as likely, the cooled skin will cause the baby to shiver and generate more heat (and appear more ill). Current fever treatment is to use tylenol, (acetaminophen) motrin, or similar drugs.

In brief: No

The quick answer is "no", because rubbing alcohol on babies is not done nowadays.
Alcohol on the skin evaporates, and so cools the skin down. It is possible that the fever will decrease if enough skin-cooling occurs. But just as likely, the cooled skin will cause the baby to shiver and generate more heat (and appear more ill). Current fever treatment is to use tylenol, (acetaminophen) motrin, or similar drugs.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Dr. Robert Kwok
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1 doctor agrees

In brief: No

Do not use rubbing alcohol to reduce your child's fever.
The fumes from the alcohol can be dangerous to a child.

In brief: No

Do not use rubbing alcohol to reduce your child's fever.
The fumes from the alcohol can be dangerous to a child.
Dr. Sharon Gilliland
Dr. Sharon Gilliland
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Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics

In brief: 70's medicine

This practice was on its way out in the early 70's after the potential toxic effects on baby were noted.
Chilling the skin turns on shivering and drives up fever. When absolutely necessary, a doc can run chilled saline into the stomach and back to reduce fever, avoiding the skin sensors and the shiver effect.Most kids do well with simple meds. (a cold bath is just as bad)

In brief: 70's medicine

This practice was on its way out in the early 70's after the potential toxic effects on baby were noted.
Chilling the skin turns on shivering and drives up fever. When absolutely necessary, a doc can run chilled saline into the stomach and back to reduce fever, avoiding the skin sensors and the shiver effect.Most kids do well with simple meds. (a cold bath is just as bad)
Dr. James Ferguson
Dr. James Ferguson
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Dr. William Nall
Sports Medicine

In brief: Nope

Yeah, don't do that plus it will dry out the skin too.

In brief: Nope

Yeah, don't do that plus it will dry out the skin too.
Dr. William Nall
Dr. William Nall
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