If you’re a first-time mom and your baby suddenly has a fever, don’t worry because we provide you some information here about helping your baby in this matter.
In this article, we will discuss what is happening in your baby’s body when he or she has a fever. We also provide you some ways and methods in treating your baby’s fever.
What is Happening When my Baby has Fever?
According to Miranda Castro who wrote the book “Homeopathy for Pregnancy, Birth, and Your Baby’s First Year”, a high temperature generally indicates that the body’s defense mechanism is fighting an infection, and temperature variations indicate how it is coping. The healing reactions of the body are speeded up, by approximately 10% for each 1℃ rise in temperature: the heart beats faster, carrying the blood around the body more quickly; breathing speeds up, increasing oxygen intake; perspiration increases, helping the body to cool down naturally and hormones are released in the body to fight disease.
The average normal temperature in a healthy human is said to be 98.4℉ (37℃), but this can vary quite markedly. For healthy infants and children, it is normal for them to have high fevers (103℉ (39.5℃) and over) with an infection. A temperature of 105℉ (40.5℃) is serious cause for concern, but it is only when it passes above 106℉ (41℃) that there is a risk to life.
Fevers typically go up towards night-time and drop by the following morning, so that a temperature of 104℉ (40℃) registered in the evening may recur on subsequent evenings. When there is a drop in temperature in the morning, it does not mean that the fever is past its peak. It can rise and fall several times over several days before finally returning to normal.
Small children who develop a fever, especially infants under 6 months old, must be watched carefully because they are vulnerable to becoming quickly dehydrated. Delirium and tantrums in children sometimes accompany high fevers and, although these are distressing, they are not dangerous.
What are some Ways and Methods in Treating my Baby’s Fever?
If your child has a fever but he or she is eating well, playing, and happy, it’s best to let the fever run its natural course. Make sure the baby is well hydrated and getting plenty of fluids, be careful not to overdress him, and make sure he gets plenty of rest. If fever symptoms are making a baby unhappy and sleepless, it’s best to consult your pediatrician about giving the baby medication to lower the fever.
Giving your baby a bath in tepid water can also lower the fever temporarily. Avoid the use of rubbing alcohol in lowering your baby’s temperature as it can be absorbed into the bloodstream and cause breathing difficulties, seizures, and other health problems. Never use aspirin to infants and children under 12 years of age because it has the possible cause of a rare but potentially fatal disorder called Reye’s syndrome.
If a baby’s temperature suddenly soars high to 105℉, he or she may be at risk of a febrile seizure. Febrile seizures can also be caused by lesser fevers. These seizures are usually not harmful in and of themselves, but they are frightening for parents. A baby suffering a seizure may breathe heavily, turn blue, roll his eye back, drool profusely, and have uncontrollably shaking limbs.
If your baby has a seizure, roll him on his side. Don’t put anything in the baby’s mouth. Be attentive and take note of how long the seizure lasts. After the seizure subsides, contact your pediatrician immediately, head to the emergency room, or call your emergency hotline.
What specific steps do I need to do when my baby has a fever?
In the following list, here we gathered some additional useful tips or do’s and don’ts when your baby has a fever.
Please take note of the following important steps so that you can help your baby in treating his fever.
- Take the temperature with a thermometer, placed under the tongue or tucked tightly under the armpit for 5 minutes for an accurate reading. The newer digital thermometers are much easier for young children and give a quick and accurate reading.
- Provide a calm environment for your feverish baby so avoid accepting visitors in the meantime.
- Let your baby drink plenty of fluids or at least sips of water at frequent intervals. Try giving him some warm water, lemon, and honey or diluted fresh fruit juices. Breast milk is fine for a nursing baby and is probably all that will be wanted.
- Take your feverish baby in the bath from time to time to bring down the fever. It is recommended to sponge down with tepid water if the fever goes above 103℉/104℉ (40℃) and your baby feels uncomfortable, being hot and sweaty. Sponge one limb at a time until it feels cool to the touch. Dry and replace it under the covers before going on to the next limb. Doing this will help bring down the temperature by 1 or 2℉ (up to 1℃) and can be repeated as often as necessary. Sponging the face and forehead alone can also give relief.
- Undress a feverish baby especially if either the weather in your area or your house is very hot. Small babies can have a fever if they become overheated and will quickly revert to normal with undressing and/or tepid sponging down.
- Keep your hot, feverish baby lightly dressed and a chilly, feverish baby who feels colds to the touch and shivers well covered.
- Suppress the fever with paracetamol in an emergency when the fever rises above 105℉ (40.5℃), or if your child is in severe pain like teething in the middle night, call your doctor and get help from him or her about the necessary prescriptions and medications.
Be careful of what you will do for your child. Not all things can be helpful to your baby’s health. Please take note of the following that you will not do when your baby is sick.
- Push your sick child to eat. Do you know that fasting or not eating encourages the body to further eliminate toxic wastes and helps it focus on recovery? Let him or she eat light, easily digested foods such as vegetable soup, raw or stewed fruit with honey.
- Give any remedy at the first sign of a rise in temperature as it can confuse the
appearance of symptoms. It is unwise to interrupt the body’s own healing process. Wait until other symptoms emerge.
Seek Emergency Medical Attention if a Feverish Baby has Any of the following:
- Extreme irritability or constant crying that lasts for hours.
- Lethargy, muscle weakness, or paralysis
- Rash or purple splotches are similar to bruises and appear after the onset of the fever.
- Blue lips, tongue, and nails
- Protruding fontanelle or the soft spot on a baby’s head
- Stiff neck or headache
- Difficulty breathing
- Rectal temperature of 100.4℉ or greater
Therefore, don’t panic when your baby has a fever. Be aware and knowledgeable about treating your child’s health by reading useful tips and information from medical books and reliable online health sites which will provide you some guidelines to assist you with your child’s health.