As children leave their homes for more crowded places like day care and school, germs inevitably are spread from hand to hand as they play and interact. Doctors indicate that a healthy desired body temperature in a baby is between ninety – seven and one hundred point three degrees Fahrenheit. However, if a rectal temperature is takenand it is above one hundred point four degrees, it is safe to say that the child is running a fever. It is important to know what to do when a baby has a fever.
When a baby has a fever it usually means that they have picked up a cold or some other viral infection. There are other reasons that a fever can come from such as a reaction to a vaccination shot or getting too hot from wearing heavy clothing on a hot day.
SYMPTOMS OF FEVER IN BABIES
There can be a variety of signs and signals seen in a child who is sick. Sometimes it can be a symptom of a cold, but they can also be a stronger indicator of something more serious. Pay close attention to how the child is behaving throughout the day and whether that behavior changes. Weariness, or a lack of energy is a warning sign and it can be accompanied by the skin looking flushed.
Another sign can be observing a rash that looks like slight purplish red spots spread across the skin. They should be checked out to see if they do or do not return to a white coloring after being pushed on lightly. They can also look like some bigger purple splotches also.
It is important keep the child hydrated as much as possible, but watch carefully for any difficulty they may have when they try to swallow. It may look like a grimace on the child’s face, a resistance to wanting to drink fluids, or it also can be inconsistent or consistent drooling.
A common symptom of illness can be having difficulty breathing. However,when the nasal passage has been cleared with a bulb syringe it should clear up noticeably. It is when it does not, that there could be a bigger problem.
If the child shows signs or symptoms of being delusional, such as talking to a person who is not there or reaching up in the air for something the parent can’t see, it could be a sign that it is time to call the pediatrician. The child’s eyes can seem glassy and it can be accompanied with extended periods of grouchiness and irritability throughout the day or night.
Fever is an indicator that a child’s body is working to stave off illness but, when accompanied by coughing, ear pain, vomiting or diarrhea. Those are symptoms to be taken seriously and should be reported to the child’s physician as soon as is practical.
WHAT TO DO WHEN A BABY HAS A FEVER
There are six things to do for a child has a fever.
1. If a child shows signs of having a fever but is acting as they normally do, then you should monitor them. If they are playing, smiling, and interacting as they normally would then they may not require further attention at that time.
2. If the child does not feel well and you would like to help them feel more comfortable, then a fever reducer medicine may be necessary. A children’s dose of aspirin or acetaminophen can be administered by strictly following the directions on the box. It should be able to provide relief from their symptoms in as soon as thirty minutes or so.
3. If it is during hours of sleep, it is recommended to wake the child up to administer their medication. It will allow them to get better rest through the course of the night. If the temperature last for a longer period of time, then doses of aspirin and acetaminophen can be switched out for every other dose.
4. There are other things that can be tried as well. A warm water sponge bath can also be given if it is tolerable for the child and if they do not start to shiver when the water touches their skin. It is a good idea to dress them in light clothing, one layer thick, and to also adjust the temperature of the room for their comfort.
5. And most importantly, ensure the child drink plenty water to help. The fluid will aid in flushing the illness from their body. Fluid hydrates the body and when natural juices are used, it provides additional nutrition that they may be missing from lack of food consumption.
6. Monitor the child’s behavior. If they become less lethargic and more energetic, the temperature will start to subside and can continue to be monitored from there. It is important to know that a child’s temperature will like return towards the end of the day and may require further attention.
A child has a fever for a variety of reasons, most commonly from a cold or viral infection. It is less common. But it also can be from an ear infection, a urinary tract infection, pneumonia, or meningitis that can also be causes. It is important to monitor the child’s behavior throughout, to see if their wellness weakens. If that occurs, measures should be taken to increase their comfort level when possible. A doctor’s care should be requested if their wellness does not improve.