Fever remains a big concern for parents especially in babies, therefore, we’ve compiled this quick article discussing causes and remedies.
WHAT IS FEVER ?
- Axillary (armpit) or rectal temperature over 100.4°F (38°C)
A body’s average temperature is 98.6°F (37°C), but it normally goes up and down during the day. A mildly higher temperature can be caused by exercise, too many clothes, a hot bath or hot water. Remember: TEETHING DOES NOT CAUSE FEVER.
When taking temperature, mercury thermometers are recommended as digital thermometers are not always accurate.
In babies under 18 mths, a rectal thermometer is used as it measures CORE TEMPERATURE.
- To take a rectal thermometer, grease the thermometer bulb with Vaseline, place ½ “ into rectum while holding baby firmly and hold for 30 seconds.
Fever is a symptom, not a disease. It is a normal response to infections, and is a sign that your body’s immune system is actively fighting against the exposure. Most fevers are due to mild viral infections that the body’s immune system deals with effectively. These can last anywhere from 3-5 days or sometimes more. Sometimes the fever may be a sign of a more serious infection that needs medical intervention.
WHAT TO DO
- Bathe in tap water in the day or warm water at night. (tepid sponge).
Do not use Limacol, alcolado or cold water, as these will temporarily cool skin but does not affect core temperature
- Keep child cool. Light clothing (because most heat is lost through the skin) and lots of cool fluids to drink. Do not use blankets as they keep heat in.
- Give paracetamol/acetaminophen (Panadol/Tylenol) every 4-6 hrs as needed. Dose is 10mgs/kg of your child’s weight. For example a 6kg child will get 60mgs. Ibuprofen may also be used except in suspected dengue cases. It is given every 6-8hrs. Avoid Aspirin as it can be harmful to your child
WHEN TO SEE YOUR PAEDIATRICIAN
- Looks very ill, is unusually drowsy, or is very fussy
- Has other symptoms, such as a stiff neck, severe headache, severe sore throat, severe ear pain, an unexplained rash, or repeated vomiting or diarrhea
- Has immune system problems, such as sickle cell disease or cancer, or is taking steroids
- Has had a seizure
- Is younger than 3 months (12 weeks) and has a temperature of 100.4°F (38.0°C) or higher
- Fever rises above 104°F (40°C) repeatedly for a child of any age
Also call your Paediatrician if
- Your child still “acts sick” once his fever is brought down.
- Your child seems to be getting worse.
- The fever persists for more than 24 hours in a child younger than 2 years.
- The fever persists for more than 3 days (72 hours) in a child 2 years of age or older.