Lots of parents have “fever phobia”– a tendency to go crazy when their child’s body temperature level spikes. And understandably, you’re much more likely to push the panic button this winter due to the fact that of worries about H1N1 influenza.
As lots of as 30 percent of pediatric acute-care visits are related to fever, according to a research study released earlier this year in Pediatrics in Review. “A great deal of parents think a fever is really harmful,” states Robert W. Steele, M.D., a pediatrician at St. John’s Children’s Hospital, in Springfield, Missouri. “But the vast majority of the time it’s absolutely nothing serious.”
How can I tell if my toddler has a fever?
Kiss or touch your child’s forehead. If you believe he feels hotter than normal, you’re probably right.
A fever is usually a sign that the body is waging a war versus infection. Taking your child’s temperature can confirm your suspicions and help you and your child’s doctor determine the best way to obtain your child back on the roadway to health.
The majority of doctors– and the American Academy of Pediatrics– agree that a regular body temperature level for a healthy child is between 97 and 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (36 to 38 degrees Celsius). If your child’s temperature level is above this variety, he has a fever.
How can I inform if my toddler’s fever is serious?
A temperature reading isn’t really the only indication of whether a fever is serious.
Behavior is an element: A high fever that doesn’t stop your child from playing and eating generally may not be cause for alarm.
Activity is a factor: Children are hotter if they’ve been playing around than when they wake up from a nap.
Keep in mind that everyone’s temperature level rises in the late afternoon and early night and falls in between midnight and morning. This natural cycle of our internal thermostat explains why doctors get most of their call about fever in the late afternoon and early evening.
When should I call the doctor if my toddler has a fever?
You’re the best judge of whether your child is actually ill– so do call if you’re worried, no matter what his temperature is.
Typically, the most important thing is how your child looks and acts: If he appears well and is taking fluids, there’s no have to call the doctor unless the fever persists for more than 24 hours or is really high. Ask your doctor for additional guidance: For example, the doctor may recommend calling immediately if your child’s fever reaches 104 degrees, regardless of symptoms.
The AAP suggests calling the doctor if your child has a temperature level of 103 degrees F (39.4 degrees C) or higher and has symptoms such as loss of appetite, cough, an earache, unusual fussiness or sleepiness, or vomiting or diarrhea.
Also call the doctor if:
- Your child is visibly pale or flushed, or is excreting less urine.
- You observe an unexplained rash, which might indicate a more serious problem when coupled with a fever. Small, purple-red spots that do not turn white or paler when you continue them, or large purple spots, can indicate a very serious bacterial infection.
- Your child has difficulty breathing (working harder to breathe or breathing faster than normal) even after you clear his nose with a bulb syringe. This might indicate pneumonia.
How will the doctor treat my toddler’s fever?
If your child is reasonably alert and taking fluids and has no other symptoms that suggest a serious illness, the doctor may advise just waiting 24 hours prior to bringing him in. Because fever is typically the first symptom of a health problem, a doctor might not find anything substantial if your child is analyzed too early.
Depending on how uncomfortable your child is, the doctor might recommend providing him children’s acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce the fever.
If your child has symptoms that recommend a serious health problem or infection, to the doctor will instruct you to bring him into be examined, either to her office (if you call during working hours) or to an emergency clinic.
Is it better to attempt to break a fever or let the fever battle the infection?
Considering that fever belongs to the body’s defense against bacteria and infections, some researchers suggest that an elevated temperature might help the body fight infections more effectively. (Bacteria and infections choose an environment that’s around 98.6 degrees F/37 degrees C.) A fever likewise informs the body to make more leukocyte and antibodies to eliminate the infection.
On the other hand, if your child’s temperature is too expensive, he’ll be too uncomfortable to eat, drink, or sleep, making it harder for him to get much better.
If your child’s fever isn’t really affecting his habits, you don’t have to give him anything to reduce it. Offer lots of liquids to avoid dehydration, and do not overdress him or bundle him up when he’s sleeping.
If your child’s body temperature is greater than typical since of additional clothes, a scorching day, or a great deal of active play, help him cool down by taking off a few of his layers and motivating him to rest or play quietly in a cool spot.
Which medications are safe to treat my toddler’s fever?
You can use children’s acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce your child’s temperature.
Be extremely cautious when administering medicine to your child. His weight will determine the right dosage. Always use the determining device that includes the medicine or an oral syringe to give your child precisely the right amount.
Do not give fever-reducing medication regularly than is recommended. The instructions will probably say that you can give acetaminophen every four hours (approximately an optimum of five times per day) and ibuprofen every 6 hours (as much as a maximum of four times daily).
Never ever give your child aspirin. Aspirin can make a child more susceptible to Reye’s syndrome, a rare but possibly fatal disorder.
A final word of care: Most medical professionals don’t advise non-prescription cough and cold preparations for young children, however if your child is taking a prescription remedy, talk with the doctor prior to offering your child other medicine, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Cough and cold remedies may currently include these products, so you risk giving your child excessive medication.
Are there other ways to try to break my toddler’s fever?
You can try to reduce your child’s fever by sponging him down with lukewarm (lukewarm, not cold) water or offering him a lukewarm bath.
Never attempt to reduce a fever by sponging down your child with rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol can be absorbed into your child’s bloodstream through the skin. It can also cool him too quickly, which can really raise his temperature level.
What should I do if my toddler has a seizure from a high fever?
Fevers can often cause febrile seizures in infants and kids. They’re most typical in children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years.
A child having this type of seizure might roll his eyes, drool, or vomit. His limbs may end up being stiff and his body might jerk or jerk. Most of the times, the seizures are harmless, however that does not make it any less frightening if your child’s having one.
Why does my toddler’s fever keep coming back?
Fever-reducing medications bring down body temperature momentarily. They don’t affect the bug that’s producing the infection, so your child may run a fever until his body is clear of the infection. This can take a minimum of two or 3 days.
Some infections, such as influenza (the flu), can last from five to 7 days. If your child has actually been treated with antibiotics to combat a bacterial infection, it may take 48 hours for his temperature to fall.
My toddler has a fever and no other symptoms. What’s wrong?
When a child has a fever that isn’t really accompanied by a runny nose, a cough, vomiting, or diarrhea, figuring out what’s incorrect can be difficult.
There are lots of viral infections that can cause a fever without any other symptoms. Some, such as roseola, cause three days of extremely high fever followed by a light pink rash on the trunk.
More serious infections, such as meningitis, urinary tract infections, or bacteremia (bacteria in the bloodstream), might also trigger a high fever without any other particular symptoms. If your child has a consistent (longer than 24 hours) fever of 102.2 degrees F (39 degrees C) or greater, call the doctor, whether or not he has other symptoms.