When you touch your child and notice that they feel warm, it can be a scary experience for a parent. Luckily, a fever usually isn't a cause for concern. Stay calm and learn how to handle your child's fever properly.
What causes the fever?
Fevers are a sign that your child's immune system is fighting an infection. They may be fighting off either a bacterial or a viral infection. Bacterial infections are more cause for concern and require antibiotics. Only a doctor will be able to determine which type of infection your child has. Viral infections generally dissipate on their own. A fever can actually be a good sign because it means that your child's immune system is working.
When does a fever constitute a doctor's visit?
It's recommended to bring your child to urgent care for children when their fever reaches a certain temperature. Children under two months old should go to the doctor when they have a fever of 100.4 degrees. Children three to six months old should go when they have a fever of 101 degrees. Children over six months should go when the temperature reaches 103 degrees.
The fever alone doesn't necessarily mean you need to take the child to the doctor. Is the child also experiencing dehydration or vomiting and diarrhea? The combination of the fever with other symptoms can be an indication of medical attention.
How should I take my child's temperature?
There are multiple options for taking a child's temperature. Rectal thermometers provide the most accurate reading for any child under the age of three.
How do I treat a fever?
There are many ways to help lower your child's fever. First, try a bath with lukewarm water (85 to 90 degrees). You can also use medications depending on the age of the child. If the child is over six months, try ibuprofen and acetaminophen. The medicine can provide temporary relief.
The most important thing is to focus on your child's symptoms rather than the fever.
Your child could get a febrile seizure from a fever. The child's body will convulse, they might experience stiffness in their limbs, their skin color can appear darker, and they may lose consciousness. These seizures typically only happen if the fever gets higher than 102 degrees. They can last anywhere from a couple of seconds to several minutes. Take your child to the doctor if the seizure lasts more than three minutes. They are most common in children between the ages of 1 year - 1.5 years old. Only about 2 - 4% of children experience a febrile seizure.
Contact a medical office like Emergency Care Dynamics for more information and assistance.Share