Baby fever is one of the most horrifying things for a mother. You may not know what to do when you find your child hot, and his skin reddens in the middle of the night. The most important thing at this stage is to calm your child down and determine if you need medical help. A fever is an indication of some infections that your child’s body is trying to combat; therefore, if you find your child’s forehead or body warmer than usual, checked the temperature to confirm whether or not he or she has a fever.
1. What is a fever?
Apart from baby fever, a fever generally is a natural reaction of the body to an infection. It can also occur during a teething, sunstroke, or heat stroke. When it is without gravity, simple measures can help to support it better. But a baby fever requires more special attention.
2. Symptoms of a baby fever
As recalled by the High Authority for Health, fever is defined by an elevation of the central temperature above 38 ° C, in the absence of intense physical activity, in a normally covered baby or a child, at moderate room temperature. It is normal to notice a baby more tired, grumpy than usual, have less appetite, or a slight headache; then, it might be a baby fever.
3. Baby fever; When should you consult if there is no symptom other than fever?
Always and quickly if the child is less than 6 months old. If it is less than 3 months old, this fever can reflect the existence of a maternal-fetal infection contracted during childbirth and which is declared late. You should consult your doctor quickly.
- High fever, 39 ° C, and more persistent beyond 48 hours: although a high temperature is not in itself a sign of seriousness, it will often be prudent, especially if the child is young, to consult the doctor.
- Moderate fever, 38 ° to 39 °: before consulting the doctor, consider the child’s general state. If this condition is bad, see the doctor. If it looks good, wait until the next day. There will likely be an additional symptom. But if the fever, even a moderate one, lasts beyond 4 or 5 days, consult the doctor.
- If the fever exceeds 40°, go to the emergencies.
- During an illness, if the fever rises, consult the doctor. A complication has likely occurred.
Don’t worry too much by a sudden outbreak of baby fever, the temperature rises faster and higher than in adults.
4. What might cause a baby fever?
4.1 Fever from teething?
This scientifically unproven explanation turns out to be wrong in most cases, says Dr. Saban: “When the tooth pierces the gum, it can cause a small fever. But the breakthrough is very punctual and never lasts more than 1 or 2 days. The long period before it, known as teething, does not cause fever.”
4.2 What about vaccines?
“Feverish reactions that occur within 24 to 48 hours after the vaccine are increasingly rare today, notes Dr. Eric Saban. Only the measles vaccine can give a fever in 10% to 15% of cases, 6-10 days after the injection. ”
Baby fever can be the symptom of a more serious disorder: urinary tract infection, meningitis, an infection of the blood.
5. How to take the baby’s temperature?
A warm forehead or red cheeks do not necessarily mean that baby fever. To find out if the baby has a fever, you have to take his temperature. Preferably use an electronic thermometer rectally. Measurements under the armpits, in the mouth or in the ear, are less precise. The mercury thermometer should no longer be used: the risk of toxicity if it breaks is too high.
For added comfort, always coat the end of the thermometer with petroleum jelly. Place baby on his back and fold his legs over his stomach. Older children will be more comfortable lying on their side.
6. Relieve and treat a baby fever
As has been said, it is more to the child’s behavior that we must focus, than to its temperature. Also, we should not systematically try to reduce it if the child is not affected and continues to play and eat normally.
When it is below 38 ° C: it is not advisable to give a treatment to the child but rather to undress him, to ventilate his room well, and to keep it cool (between 19 ° C and 21 ° C).
When it is above 38 ° C: It is necessary to privilege the use of paracetamol by the oral way (the syrups are supplied with pipettes graduated according to the weight of the baby. It is thus enough to fill them until the weight corresponding to your child) or in suppository (60 mg/kg / 24 h in 4 times)
Simple actions in case of fever
Discover your child: To facilitate the removal of heat, undress him as much as possible. Remove the sleeping bags from the little ones, the blankets from the older ones. Just leave a bodysuit, light pajamas …
Make him drink a lot: Fever can make you sweat a lot. To compensate for water losses, regularly offer your child a drink.
Refresh his forehead: We don’t recommend giving a bath 2 ° C below body temperature systematically. If this is good for your child, nothing prevents you from bathing it. But if he doesn’t feel like it, applying a fresh washcloth to his forehead will do him as much good.
7. Temperature too low after a fever episode
Yesterday your child was 39 °. This morning he is 36.5 °. Sometimes after an illness, when the child is cured and is no more sick, the temperature drops to 36 ° and stays there for a day or two. It does not matter; this is the hypothermia phase following febrile illnesses.
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Originally published on Live Positively.