Parents often get worried when their baby has a fever. They want to know what is causing the fever and how they can help their baby feel better. It is important to remember that fevers are not usually dangerous. But it’s good to take your baby’s temperature frequently so you can see if it goes up or down.
Many parents should also worried about how to tell if newborn has fever? There are many ways parents can treat fever, such as alternating between warm baths and cool compresses, giving acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Motrin), or other pain medications for infants.
Although fever itself is not dangerous, it can be a symptom of an underlying problem. If your baby has other symptoms along with the fever. And if the fever lasts for over 24 hours, you should seek medical attention right away. In this blog, we will provide you with some basic information about the context that every parent should know.
In This Article
When should you worry about a baby’s fever?
When your baby is younger than 3 months and has a rectal temperature of 100.4°F or higher. And if the fever lasts for more than 24 hours or regularly goes above 102°F. Then you should call the doctor immediately. Dehydration can be very dangerous in babies below 6 months old.
If it’s under 102°F then just give paracetamol-based medications such as Panadol. Or ibuprofen-based medicines such as Nurofen can be used for babies aged 6 months and older. Do not use aspirin for children, especially young children because it can cause Reyes syndrome. Sometimes, babies may have seizures or fit with fever. If your baby has a seizure for the first time, you should take him/her to the emergency department immediately.
How to know if baby has fever? If your child has a fever then you should also avoid giving them anything that contains caffeine. In most cases, fever is a sign of your baby’s immune system working to fight off an infection. A fever is the body’s way of killing viruses and bacterial infection. That causes colds, flu, ear infections, and other illnesses common in babies. As long as your baby isn’t crying or irritable and is eating and playing as usual, then there’s nothing to worry about.
How do babies act with a fever?
Though it is not certain how babies act with a fever. However, they can become more pain-sensitive than usual and sweaty. They may want to sleep continuously without eating anything or be awake for a long time. So it is better to give them some easy-to-digest foods that are rich in calories. When your child has a fever you have to monitor them closely.
Fever-related symptoms in infants and children are usually nonspecific. Such as irritability, sleep disturbances, restlessness, or behavioral change. In some cases when a child has a rectal temperature, he/she may be lethargic or have seizures. When the fever goes high, babies should be given paracetamol or ibuprofen syrup according to age, dosage, and brand for pain relief. Nasal congestion is also common along with a heavy head when babies have a fever. Therefore it is essential to pay attention to the congestion.
Although every baby is different and when they have a fever they act it differently. So it’s difficult to say how they will behave when they have a fever. When babies feel pain, they start moving their bodies. As if they were trying to get rid of the pain And that is why. It can be hard to see if your baby has a fever or not because they don’t have any other symptoms apart from this.
What precautions for fever in babies?
There are three stages in the treatment of fever in babies. The first stage is to manage the fever. This should be done by using simple methods, such as changing the baby’s clothes. And wiping their skin with a soft towel, giving them more fluids, and applying rubbing alcohol on their chest. Parents will know their babies better than anyone so they can choose the best way to manage their fever.
The second stage is to check the baby’s body temperature. It would be better if you use a medical thermometer, not an electronic one. The normal temperature range for babies is between 36-37 C (97 – 99 F). You should monitor baby’s body temperature every two hours or so. Especially if they are less than three months of age. And if the fever lasts more than 3 days, you should take them to see a doctor.
The third stage is to manage the fever if it gets high or reaches 40 C (104 F). This usually happens when the baby has an infection or other illness. You have to bring them to see a doctor if their fever is high. To reduce the baby’s temperature by using cold compresses on their forehead and armpits. Parents shouldn’t give them cold water because it will cause hypothermia. But don’t use ice at all because it will cause a rapid drop in blood pressure that could lead to shock. And make sure to use a fan for a baby with fever to reduce their temperature gradually.
What causes fever in babies?
Fever occurs when the body temperature rises above its normal level of 98.6°F. Fever is a symptom that accompanies many infections. But it can also appear due to a reaction to a vaccine or an allergic reaction. Illnesses that can cause fever in infants include:
1. Viral Infections
The most common cause of fever in infants is the flu or an ordinary cold that has turned into bronchitis or sinusitis. Fever caused by a viral infection usually disappears after 3-5 days. Treatment includes rest, plenty of fluids, and acetaminophen (paracetamol) for fever. The child’s temperature of fever of 100.4°F (38°C) then rubbing alcohol and breast milk will be beneficial for child’s body temperatures according to academic research institutions.
2. Weak immune system
Fever may also occur in babies whose immune systems are not strong enough to fight infection. This can happen in very young infants, premature babies, and those who have a chronic condition. That affects the immune system such as cancer or AIDS. If your baby has a weak immune system then consult your doctor. Immediate medical care should need for newborn fever treatment as well.
3. Bacterial infections
An infection that is caused by bacteria, such as pneumonia or an ear infection, can also cause fever in babies up to 3 months old. A child with a bacterial infection will usually have other symptoms in addition to fever. Typically signs of illness and find trouble breathing. Treatment includes rest, fluids, and an antibiotic. This type of infection leads to a high fever up to 104 F.
4. Urinary tract infection
A urinary tract infection may cause fever in infants over 3 months old, especially girls. If the child has a high fever with vomiting and diarrhea, immediate medical care is required. This type of infection can be serious in very young infants. These type of infections are included in bacterial infections. Sometimes it can occur in infants as a result of incomplete development of the urinary tract or from the effects of birth defects, abnormalities, and anatomical obstructions.
5. Parasitic Infections
Parasites such as lice and scabies can also cause a body temperature of 100-102 F in babies. In this case, the doctor will prescribe antiparasite medicine to eliminate them from the baby’s body. It is important that infants who have a parasitic infection are kept warm, have plenty of fluids, and are not exposed to others who have the disease. As well as the rectal temperature should not be taken if the child has a parasitic infection.
6. Bacterial Meningitis
Bacterial meningitis is a serious infection of the brain and it can cause a high fever. It usually affects babies between 1 month and 3 months old. Symptoms include vomiting, fast breathing, irritability, bulging fontanel, seizures, lethargy, fever over 104°F (40°C), and low or no responsiveness to stimuli. We recommend you when you find it in babies then go to the hospital emergency room immediately. In this case, proper medical treatment is necessary for your child.
Some baby fever Tips we should know.
Here are the some useful tips you should know to provide your child when they have a fever and they are:
- Cleaning your child’s fever area with a cool wet cloth or sponge on the forehead, neck, and chest.
- Give your child plenty of fluids such as breast milk, formula, and clean water.
- If your baby has to take medicine for fever, ask your doctor how often the medicine should be given.
- Provide medication to reduce the fever (acetaminophen).
- Check and monitor the baby’s temperature every 3 hours.
- If the fever does not go down after giving medication, bring your child to the doctor.
- In addition, if you have a baby who has been diagnosed with a fever due to an infection or illness such as a cold, flu, ear infection, etc., contact your doctor immediately.
If you’re not sure what to do when your baby has a fever, the best thing is to consult with your physician. In general, if they have a temperature of 100% Fahrenheit or higher, call their doctor immediately and seek medical attention for them. Fever isn’t always dangerous in itself but can signal serious complications. Such as meningitis which requires immediate treatment from a physician who specializes in infectious diseases.
It’s important that parents know how high their child’s body temperature should be. Before it becomes worrisome because every child reacts differently on different days depending on things such as activity level or illness severity. Well, if you have any query regrading the health of your child feel free to contact us through a comment below, respectively.