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Fever in Babies: 7 Important Things You Might Not Know

When I’m in between confusion and anxiety, I feel I’m about to fail as a mother. Fever could mean a lot of things. So I did my best to educate myself on what to do when my baby is sick. The 7 things a mom should know about fever in babies taught me how to react correctly when my baby is too hot.

But that’s what do you expect from a mom?

More...

An indication of a baby fever

A rectal temperature of 38 degrees Celsius and above is a sign that a baby has fever. Any lesser than this is considered normal and must not cause an alarm. Body temperature fluctuates within the day. And babies are no exemption to this.

Here are the signs of fever that you should watch out for:

  • Flushed cheeks
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    Red, hot skin
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    Baby has a hard time sleeping.
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    Needs to feed but don’t have the appetite.
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    Does not respond to usual physical activities.
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    Seizures
An indication of a baby fever

Do you know that early in the morning the body temperature is lower compared to late in the afternoon? I guess it’s because, in the morning, our body is well-rested from the previous night’s sleep while within late afternoons, we are already tired from the whole day’s events.

So don’t be confused when you notice your baby is getting too hot. As long as it’s below 38 degrees Celsius, there’s nothing to worry about.  

Factors that cause rise of temperature but no fever:

  • The weather
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    Layers of clothes you wear
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    Warm showers
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    Rigid physical activities
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    Strong emotions like anger and excitement

However, familiarize yourself with the dangers of heat stroke. This condition is often mistaken with fever. Learning how to deal with it can save your baby from harm.

The most reliable kind of thermometer

There are different kinds of thermometer that you can use at home. However, among those, the rectal thermometer is noted to be most accurate and reliable for your child especially newborns. So, if you don’t have it, I suggest to keep one.

Do you know how to take your baby’s temperature? Here is a short video tutorial to help you do it.

Bacterial VS Viral Fever

It’s necessary to know the cause of the fever. Is it bacterial, or viral?

  • Viral Fever - is an infection caused by a virus. Your body is fighting the illness. I advise to take in more liquid and vitamin C to boost the immune system. This usually wanes after three days.
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    Bacterial fever - is an infection caused by bacteria. This type is rare than viral. However, bacterial is more threatening and needs immediate medical attention. Antibiotics are the best medicine to treat this.

Hints that you need to seek medical help:

  • A rectal temperature of 38 degrees Celsius and above
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    The child is less than 2 years old, and the fever lasts more than a day.
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    The child is more than 2 years old, and the fever lasts more than three days.
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    At any age, a rectal temperature of 38 degrees Celsius that recurrently rise.

Age of baby that is most vulnerable

When your baby is younger than three months and has a fever, you need to urgently bring her to the pediatrician. NEVER give medicine unless prescribed by any medical professional. The doctor needs to see the symptoms for better diagnosis and treatment.

Pay Attention to the Symptoms, not the Temperature

Symptoms not the Temperature

Every child is unique. You’ll be surprised that body temperature is not what’s crucial when it comes to fever. Some babies have a very high temperature but look healthy and active. This means, your baby doesn’t need any medication at all.

Nevertheless, other babies display signs of illness with the same temperature. Having a fever means the body is fighting infection. It’s our body’s defense mechanism to battle bacteria and viruses. When the baby’s immune system weakens, symptoms of having a fever appears.

Then, it’s time that the baby needs help from a physician. 

Fever is an indication that our body is fighting.

It’s kind of ironic to feel relieved when your little one is suffering from fever. Nonetheless, the fact that the child is reacting to infection means she is healthy enough to battle the cause. The body is ready to set defenses to fight. Showing fever symptoms would help the doctors determine the treatment.

Hence, when your baby has a fever, don’t worry that much. Your baby’s immune system is doing its job. It’s your turn to pay attention and understand if she needs urgent help.

Use medicine cautiously

Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen are common medication for fever. But if you can help it, try not to use medicine instantly. Here is a video that gives tips for moms on how to reduce the fever naturally as a remedy.

Understand that these are just first aid measures. When the fever persists within the day, don’t hesitate to call your physician.

Safety tips when giving your baby reducers

Various reducers are available over the counter. Mom’s confidence strengthens in time and practice. Although you know what to do, still below is a guide to refresh you.

IMPORTANT: When a baby is below three years old, don’t give medicine unless instructed by the pediatrician.

  • For children below two years old, a prescription from a doctor for the correct dosage is a need. A pharmacist can help you too.
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    For babies between three to six months old, paracetamol is safe. DO NOT give them ibuprofen.
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    It’s already safe for babies six months and above to take both paracetamol and ibuprofen.
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    It’s the WEIGHT that determines the dosage of medication and not the age.
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    NEVER give aspirin to your child. Aspirin is known to be related to Reyes Syndrome.

Tip: Don’t worry when your baby is sleeping peacefully. Long sleep is what she needs to recover. So, there’s no need to wake her up when it’s time for medicine.

Conclusion

Fever is a common illness for anyone. As a mom, I consider it necessary to learn first aid and natural remedies at home. My responsibility does not stop from giving them shelter and food. My care extends to being a nurse and protector.

Moms, have you learned the importance of fever? If so, please share it with other mothers that need to know!

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Sarah Palmer
 

Hi! I'm Sarah. My husband and I have a beautiful little girl; plus we’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of Baby #2, so this is a very exciting time for us. Throughout this amazing journey called Parenthood, I’ve learned so much and love sharing my experiences with other parents at SarahsLovelyFamily.com. I'd love to share my discoveries with you too!

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