Give a tepid sponge bath by washing the body using a sponge and lukewarm water between 90 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit, advises WebMD. A tepid sponge bath is used to clean newborns; reduce fever and rash in children; and care for ill adults and the elderly, according to Mayo Clinic.
To clean your baby with a sponge bath, lay your baby on her back on a soft towel or a pad. Wet a washcloth, and wring out any excess water. Then, wipe your baby's face. Do not use soap. Use a clean cotton ball or cloth to wipe each eyelid. Start from the inside of the eyelid before moving to the outside corner of the eye.
Give a tepid sponge bath to a child with rash and fever if the child's temperature is 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher and acetaminophen or ibuprofen has not lowered it, as advised by WebMD. Do not use cold water, ice or rubbing alcohol, which lowers the child's body temperature too quickly. Sponge for 20 to 30 minutes, stopping if the child starts to shiver.
Tepid sponge baths are also useful in palliative care for cancer patients, as suggested by WebMD. If daily bathing is traumatic for Alzheimer's patients, alternate showers or tub baths with sponge baths, as advised by Mayo Clinic.