The most harrowing experience for every parent is to see their children get sick.
Even a mild fever can get them turning to and fro with worry. It’s distressing to see your newborn suffer in any way at all.
A fever, particularly in infants, seems catastrophic for parents since it can be a manifestation of other more serious illnesses.
Fevers are symptoms of a hidden health problem. It is the body’s way of combating infections. A fever is not the disease itself but a warning that something wrong is happening inside a person’s body. The higher the temperature, the stronger the chance that the case is serious.
But when should parents get panicky and rush their little ones to the hospital?
- Below are some useful pointers on how to deal with any fever situation.
When Is it Considered a Fever?
A hot temperature is generally not deemed to be a fever if the temperature of the baby doesn’t exceed 98.6 degrees F or 37 degrees C. Some other factors should also be considered: is the weather particularly hot? Is the baby wearing too much clothing?
- A temperature of 100.4 F or 38 degrees C is called a low-grade fever.
Such a temperature is quite manageable and shouldn’t be a cause for concern. It can be relieved by simple house remedies with no need to make the baby take medicine unless the temperature rises.
Try to also observe your baby if he is showing signs of discomfort, pain and is crying all the time while his temperature is hot.
But, if your baby is playful and acting like nothing is wrong then there is no need to be so alarmed even if he has a fever. More often than not, there is nothing seriously amiss here. It could simply be a sign of weather changes.
What to do?
- Again, never give your baby medicine just because you feel his body is hot or even when his temperature is beyond normal unless your doctor expressly tells you to do so.
- Always try the old age remedy of placing a wet cloth on your baby’s forehead. This will absorb the heat through his head and will leave him feeling relieved. You can also buy cooling pads designed to function like this from the drug store.
- Try washing the baby in lukewarm water. Never use cold water as it might result in shivers that will increase the body temperature.
One great trick is to sponge the baby’s body with a clean face towel soaked in room temperature water. In cases where the temperature is really high, you can wet the baby’s head with normal temperature water after sponging. This will definitely bring down the temperature. This action is best coupled with a medicine. Remember not to use ice as the baby will have chills.
- Important Note: When the baby’s temperature becomes 39 degrees C (102.2 degrees F) or you notice any seizures, be sure to take the baby to the hospital for immediate evaluation.
- Make your baby drink plenty of water. Dilute juices. Having lots of liquid intake helps replace the lost body fluids brought about by sweating too much.
- Soft drinks are a no-no as these will only worsen the fever and might even cause diarrhea. Chicken broth and milk are perfectly fine sources of fluids.
Weaning babies who are sick with fever won’t have the appetite to eat. In this instance, just give them some milk. However, if they want to eat, do not give them anything hard and oily. Soft foods like porridge, oatmeal and soups are all smart choices.
- Always be on the lookout for sweating and towel your baby dry. Focus on his back to prevent him from developing a cough due to wet clothing.
Let your sick baby rest in order to recover rapidly. As much as possible, do not allow him to watch TV as doing so can result in a relapse. Although he is not moving, watching TV will tire his eyes and stimulate the senses when he should be relaxing and resting.
- If your baby vomits, make him suck ice cubes or popsicles to relieve vomiting.
When Should You Go To The Hospital?
A regular fever will come and go for perhaps two days only with medication if the temperature never reaches 39 degrees C. It should go away completely by the third day.
A fever that is caused mainly by changes in weather temperature will just disappear within the day without medications.
A temperature of 39 degrees C which does not subside or go down minimally even with medicine and recurs in less than 4 hours needs an immediate trip to the ER. Do not wait for the fever to rise higher than 39 degrees C or until the baby vomits or hallucinates. Take action sooner than later.
- If the baby develops rashes and has nosebleeds you might consider a consultation just to be on the safe side.
Whenever your baby does not stop crying, it’s also wise to get a check-up. Crying incessantly is a telltale sign that the baby is not feeling well.
- These instances are serious and require immediate medical attention. Your baby’s health is of the uppermost importance.
- If you have tried the home remedies and the temperature remains and even gets higher, do not hesitate to call a doctor.
Sometimes, doctors will dismiss the case as simple fever but, as a parent, you are the only one who can feel if something is terribly wrong as your baby cannot yet speak a word.
Follow your instincts. Go get another opinion.
It never hurts to be sure. It is perfectly OK to doubt if your gut feel is telling you so. Be cautious not to overreact. Remain calm and pacify your little one. A panicking mom won’t relax a sick baby because he too can get to panic in turn.
We hope that the above tips come in handy when diagnosing how to get over baby fever.