Fever in a child – how to react and when is it dangerous?

A fever in a child – how to react, what is the treatment like, and when should you see a doctor? We present answers to questions about how to behave in a situation of high temperature in a baby. Here is a short guide that will be especially useful for novice parents.

Temperature in a child appears very often during a viral or bacterial infection. In the case of young children, this situation can change very quickly. Temperature can change almost hour by hour.

Temperature in a child – what does it mean and how to react? What are the causes of a fever in a child?

It should be borne in mind that the temperature index is slightly different than that of adults. The temperature of 38 degrees Celsius in children is still a low-grade fever. And it is beneficial for fighting the disease. This is due to the fact that such a temperature increases the blood supply to tissues and stimulates the immune system. In turn, if the temperature exceeds this limit, then it weakens the body and should be lowered. One way is to give you some mild antipyretic drugs in syrup or suppositories.

Symptoms of a fever in a child – what are they characterized by?

The symptoms of a fever in a child are usually easy to recognize. A high temperature in a child is usually felt with the hand, touching the forehead or cheeks. It can be seen even without the use of a thermometer. Symptoms that are characteristic of a fever in a child are:

  • red flush on the face;
  • difficulty breathing – the child breathes through the mouth;
  • the child is grumpy, apathetic, sleepy;
  • his breathing becomes faster and slightly shallower than usual;
  • the baby is crying;
  • his eyes are teary.

Fever in a one-year-old child – how to behave?

Fever in a one-year-old child is measured slightly differently than in adults. The temperature of 38 degrees is still only a low-grade fever. Nevertheless, if a given baby is suffering from a so-called long-term infection, a cursory examination of the body temperature is not enough and is not reliable. In such situations, you should take your temperature at least twice a day. Preferably in the morning right after the baby wakes up and in the afternoon. It is worth writing down the obtained measurements. Then we will be able to show the doctor what the course of the fever looked like, which will make it easier for him to make a later diagnosis. It is worth adding that during a viral infection, the fever usually lasts for 3 to 5 days. Then it goes down. Later it rises again and after this stage everything goes back to normal.

Temperature in a child – how to measure it?

The temperature in a child requires observation and correct measurement. Sometimes this is a big problem for parents, especially beginners. Fortunately, there are some ways to do this:

  • armpit – this method is most convenient for older children, possibly patient and not very mobile.
  • in the mouth – this method works well for small and larger children; the measurement gives a result higher by 0.3ºC than the real one.
  • in the rectum – this is how we measure the fever in an infant, due to the short measurement time and quick measurement result; the final result is 0.5ºC higher than the actual body temperature.

How to beat a child’s fever – proven ways

“How to beat a child’s fever” is the most important topic in the case of prolonged and very high temperature. A fever in a child most often appears in the evening or at night. We can help your child by administering an anti-pyretic drug. Babies and toddlers must take antipyretics in syrups. We should also use medications that are adapted to the child’s weight. The youngest are most often given paracetamol, which starts working within 30-60 minutes of administration. In turn, Ibuprofen, in addition to its antipyretic effect, also has an anti-inflammatory effect.

Fever in a 3-year-old child – how to help a child with fever?

A fever in a three-year-old is not pleasant. High body temperature causes the child’s body to sweat and loose electrolytes and water. The baby is weak and tired. To help our little one get through this difficult time, we can take the following advice:

  • When our baby is sick, it is very important to hydrate him regularly with fluids. It is best to give clean water to drink . To diversify the taste, we can add raspberry juice, honey or lemon. Fruit teas are also perfect .
  • Cool compresses on the forehead can help to lower a child’s fever .
  • The sick child must rest in bed. Make sure that the room is at the right temperature. It was neither too hot nor too cold. The room should be aired and cleaned regularly.
  • Use room humidifiers .
  • Change pajamas and bedding more often – children sweat quickly during a fever.

A fever in a child when to go to hospital – what is worth knowing?

Fever in a child – when should a parent go to the hospital with the child? The answer to this question requires a specific situation analysis. A very high temperature and convulsions are a clear sign of the need to take the child to the hospital . Remember not to put anything in your mouth when your baby is having convulsions. In such situations, place your child on their side on the floor. After an attack of seizures, call an ambulance or a doctor as soon as possible to avoid these consequences – reduce the fever quickly.

Fortunately, difficult situations such as seizures are rare. Usually, most toddlers, after lowering the temperature, begin to play normally and their physical condition clearly improves. 


Author: DoctorMaryam.org

3rd Professional Medical Student. Karachi Medical and Dental College.

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