A fever in babies is always a scary episode for any parent. If you haven’t undergone one, you will probably soon! It always pays to keep your cool and not panic when your child has a fever. Raising temperature is part of your baby’s natural defence mechanism against any infection. Knowing a few tips regarding how to manage a child’s fever will always help us get through the episode without panicking.
What are the signs?
One of the most common indicators of fever in infants is a warm forehead. Although it is not a necessary symptom of infant fever. The other common symptoms associated with fever in babies include
- Being more tired or cranky than usual
- Poor eating and sleeping
- Being lethargic and lack of interest in play
- Nausea or vomiting
Above all, believe in your instinct as a mother. A mother will always know when something is just not right! Eventually you will find out you are right!
Taking a temperature
If you think your baby has a fever, it is important to know the temperature. Digital thermometers are the best type you can use at your home. Turn on the digital thermometer. Tuck it under your child’s armpit. Make sure it touches the skin and not the clothing. They are accurate and beep when they are ready. When you take the temperature under the arm, add 1 to the thermometer reading. For example, if the thermometer reading is 99.0 celsius, the actual body temperature is 100.0 celsius.
How to deal with your infant’s fever?
If your child is less than 6 months and has a fever, you should see your doctor immediately. For older babies try these tips
- Ensure your child is well hydrated. Give your baby plenty of fluids like breast milk, water, formula and fruit juices(mix equal amount of juice and water). Contact your child’s doctor for guidelines. Dehydration will be indicated by fewer wet diapers or a dry mouth.
- Cover your baby in light layer of clothes. Don’t let your child get too hot, but if it leaves your child shivering, cover him with 2 layers of cotton sheet and not woolen sheets. Use a fan to circulate the air and keep the room well ventilated and at a comfortable temperature.
- Sponge with lukewarm water. This is usually recommended as it can help to bring down a fever fast, especially if it is high. This should be used along with and not instead of fever lowering medication.
When to see a doctor
- If your baby is less than six months old
- In older babies, if the fever lasts longer than a few days
- If your baby is lethargic or unresponsive
- If your baby has signs of dehydration
- If your baby has a febrile seizure
Febrile seizures are convulsions that happens during a fever (febrile means "feverish"). During the seizure, your child might look strange for a few moments; the whole body may shake and twitch; his or her eyes may roll; he will be unresponsive for a short time; his skin may appear a little darker than usual. They affect kids from 3 months to 6 years old. While they can be frightening, they are harmless in most cases. The seizures are caused by a rapid increase in body temperature. Most of the times it takes place during the early stages of the fever, even before you realise your child has a fever. So knowing what has to be done if your little one has a febrile seizure is pertinent.
- Do not panic and stay calm. Remove nearby dangerous objects.
- Don’t try to stop his movements. Place the child on the bed or floor away from sharp or dangerous objects.
- Turn the child’s head to the sides with a folded cloth under the head, so that fluids can drain out of his mouth.
- DO NOT put anything in the child’s mouth and DO NOT give water or other fluids.
- If you can, monitor how long the seizure lasts.
- See a doctor immediately.
While a fever is a very scary event, it is often not dangerous and is caused by mild infection. It may not be a pleasant experience, but you can be sure that your baby’s immune system is doing its job.
This article is for solely informational purpose. It is not intended to provide medical advice and does not replace the advice of your doctor.
“Kids are never easy, but they are so worth it” -Unknown. Happy parenting!