One of the ways the body fights infection is increasing the temperature, causing fever, which is a temperature of 100.4°F or 38°C and higher. Aside from infection, heatstroke, and autoimmune diseases, among others, certain medicines can cause a fever.
Children with fever are less active, feel warm when touched, less hungry, and may seem fussier and thirstier. Parents, especially moms, should know the signs when their children’s fever becomes more serious for prompt action and avoid life-threatening consequences.
Below are the signs you need to watch out for when your child’s fever is more serious than you think:
1. Infant Fever Can Indicate Infection
A temperature of 100.4°F or 38°C or even higher for an infant or three months old or younger should get medical attention immediately. Fever in young babies can be an indication of a dangerous infection.
In addition, babies are still developing their immune and nervous systems. Hence, they run at risk of experiencing dehydration fast, which can be life-threatening if not addressed quickly. The baby’s body isn’t fully capable yet of fighting infection and needs medical help from a reliable healthcare facility such as Reliant Urgent Care and others.
2. Too High Body Temperature
A child of any age with a repeated body temperature above 40°C needs professional medical intervention as soon as possible. With this temperature, the body enters a dangerous level that could shut the nervous system and other body systems, resulting in convulsions, seizure, or death.
3. Fever Doesn’t Subside
A child below two years old and has a body temperature of 38°C that lasts for more than one day should be brought to the doctor right away. The same is true with a child who’s two years or older with a fever lasting for more than three days.
Have you given your child antipyretic or anti-fever medication? Does the fever subside? Children who were given ibuprofen or acetaminophen but still without positive response need to be brought to an urgent care center or emergency department.
4. The Baby Is Fussy And Can’t Soothed
Bring your baby to the nearest healthcare facility if the infant cries non-stop or is fussy and can’t be soothed. Infants tend to cry relentlessly because they feel discomfort and possibly be in pain that should warrant prompt medical intervention. When you’re not sure whether the crying is normal or not, it’d be best to consult a doctor.
5. Fever With Other Symptoms
A fever that’s more than three days with symptoms of colds can be an indication of a secondary condition like an ear infection or pneumonia. On the other hand, high fever in the flu season with early onset of headaches or body aches can be influenza. It’s important to seek medical attention as soon as you can if you suspect your child is suffering from these. Early medical intervention can help reduce complications and prevent spreading the virus to others.
All children older than six months should receive a flu shot to protect them against getting sick from flu. Consult with a physician to know the other vaccines needed.
What To Do When Your Child Has Fever
Fever shouldn’t immediately cause fear. The best thing you can do to help your child recover from a fever or any illness is to ensure plenty of rest and proper hydration. Your child should stay at home and only return to school when the temperature becomes normal for 24 hours.
Here are some helpful tips to manage a child with fever:
- Monitor your child’s body temperature every four hours.
- Watch out for accompanying signs and symptoms.
- Ask your child to get rest and sleep.
- Provide healthy meals with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid applying alcohol, ointment, or anything on the skin because these products can restrict dispersing of heat outside the body.
- Don’t bathe the child with cold water because it’ll cause shivering that may just increase the body temperature. Use a cold compress on the head, chest, or neck instead to gradually lower down the child’s body temperature.
Fever is a symptom indicating that something’s wrong with the body. While it’s a compensatory and defense mechanism of the human body, fever in children generally becomes more serious if it lasts for more than one day in babies and three days in older children. You need to bring your child to an emergency or urgent care facility when you notice the signs above to avoid life-threatening complications. Consider the ideas mentioned here as you observe and assess the condition of your child.