Fevers are quite common when kids are growing up. A fever is a sign that the body’s immune system is fighting an infection.
But fevers are always alarming for parents, especially first time moms and dads because the idea of seeing your child in pain is quite painful.
In this article we are summarising a quick guide about fevers in kids, what causes them, how you can treat them, and when you should seek immediate medical help from a Child specialist in Karachi.
How high is too high (fever)?
Human body’s temperature keeps on varying throughout the day according to age, the climate, activity level and various other factors.
A temperature of 98.6 F or 37 C is considered a healthy body’s temperature whereas a temperature above 100.4 F or 38.0 C is generalised as fever.
For newborns or infants below 3 months of age a fever above or below the normal range may indicate some serious illness. You should visit your child’s doctor immediately in this case.
For children aged 3 months to 3 years a fever of 102° is considered high and for kids 3 years and above a fever of 103 is considered high.
In both of the above mentioned scenarios you should visit your paediatrician immediately to rule out the causes and get treatment for your child’s fever.
When you should not worry about your child’s fever?
Don’t lose your cool, you do not need to worry about your child’s fever if it lasts less than five days and your child continues to stay playful, active and eats and drinks normally.
If the temperature of your child stays below 102° then you should monitor them at least for three days at home before contacting your health care facilitator.
If your child seems alert, they haven’t developed any kind of rash on the body, the colour of their skin is still the same and they’re smiling at you then you should not worry about the fever.
If your child was recently immunised and is having a fever then this fever is not worrisome and it should go away within 24 to 48 hours. If it doesn’t then make sure to get connected with a paediatrician.
When should you call the doctor?
Other than high grade fever you should call your doctor if your child has following signs and symptoms along with a fever:
- If they are refusing fluids or they seem ill to drink properly.
- They have repetitive vomiting and diarrhoea.
- They are peeing less than usual and seem to be dehydrated.
- If they have an earache or a sore throat.
- Their fever has lasted more than 72 hours.
- If your child has a chronic medical condition like a heart disease, sickle-cell disease, lupus or cancer.
- If they have developed a body rash.
- If their crying won’t stop and they seem to be inconsolable.
- If they have pain while peeing.
- If they have become extremely irritable and fussy.
- If they are having trouble waking up.
- If their lips, tongue or nails are turning blue.
- If their neck is stiffening.
- If they have a severe headache.
- If they are having trouble breathing.
- If they’re having a seizure.
- If they’re having severe belly pain.
What are the causes of fever in kids?
The immune system raises the body’s temperature to make it tough for the bacteria and viruses to survive, which means that a fever is a sign that your body is fighting against the foreign invaders (bacterias and viruses).
Here are some common causes of fever in kids:
- ear infections
- respiratory tract infection
- urinary tract infections
- whooping cough
At times overdressing can also cause fever. It is true in case of newborns and infants because they are usually over bundled. So try dressing your child in accordance with their surroundings.
What do repetitive fevers indicate?
A high body temperature is a result of the body’s defense mechanism against bacteria and viruses present in the body.
But repetitive occurrences of fever in children might be an indication of a serious underlying condition. If your child is having frequent episodes of fever then you should definitely consider visiting a Child specialist in Lahore and getting some blood profiles done to rule out the causes and get treatment.
How to care for a feverish kid?
From time to time every child experiences fevers. So it is really important for parents to be well aware of the ways they should take care of their feverish child.
- First and most important thing that you need to do is take your child’s temperature using any available thermometers (oral thermometer, digital thermometer or artery scanners). Make sure to always keep a thermometer handy.
- Give your child plenty of liquids even if your child isn’t thirsty. Infants and babies should be given breast milk and formula more often when they are feverish. This will help in keeping their fluid levels up.
- Give antipyretics (paracetamol and ibuprofen) to your children to reduce fever and body aches. Try alternating each of these to get the most impact. Always go through the information leaflet to find out the correct dosage according to your child’s age.
- Dress your child in lightweight clothing and cover them with a light blanket or a sheet. Sponging or wetting the child’s body when they are feverish is not recommended to reduce fever, it may work temporarily but it will make your child unnecessarily uncomfortable.
Can fevers be prevented?
Even though kids are bound to have fevers from time to time you can reduce the feverish episodes by maintaining healthy habits and hygiene.