When your baby gets sick, it can be a worrying time for parents, especially if they happen to develop a fever. Sometimes, that sickness might be accompanied by a fever or high temperatures that are getting close to fever status, so what is the best approach?
Baby fever occurs as the body’s natural reaction to infection and it’s not always something to be concerned about. However, when dealing with infant fever it can be especially worrying and there are different methods that might need to be taken.
Knowing how to treat a fever the right way and what things you can do to make your baby more comfortable will be very useful. As well as understanding when it’s time to reach out to the experts for help, so you can be sure you’ll stay on top of anything that gets too serious.
When we notice that our baby or child has a fever, the first reaction might be to panic. It’s normal to associate a high temperature with something being wrong, but what it’s actually telling us is that the body is working the right way.
The role of a fever in the body is to fight off infection so when you notice their temperature rising, it’s simply doing its job to make your child better. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, healthy baby temperatures are between 97 and 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. When this rises of 100.4 degrees, we can class it as a fever.
A fever may accompany another type of illness like a cold, or it could be a standalone symptom that you notice. By having a quality baby thermometer, you can keep an eye on this to ensure it doesn’t get out of control. If you notice your baby is hot, check them with the device and test again hourly at first to see how it’s progressing.
Fevers are totally normal and in a healthy child or adult, they’re nothing to worry about. However, for babies under three months old they can be serious, and if your infant has one you will need to seek medical attention immediately. Other warning signs to look out for that would already required medical help include:
As a parent, you should trust your instinct and contact help when something is wrong. Even if you think you may be overreacting, when dealing with babies it’s better to err on the side of caution as they are so young.
The most common approach for fever in adults is to use medication, but is this always the right way with babies?
Baby fever can usually be managed with some techniques to make them more comfortable, as you’ll find most over the counter medications aren’t actually safe for them to take. If you do plan on giving them medication, don’t do so without speaking to your doctor first.
Some health experts believe that it’s better to let the fever run its course in the body. Unless your child is visibly upset or irritable, simply keeping an eye on them and making sure they’re comfortable is all you need to do.
If a doctor has given their okay to use medication, you can give your baby an infant-specific acetaminophen dosage, like Tylenol. If this is the first time your child is having it, then you will definitely need to speak to a pediatric expert. Follow the instructions on the package as per dosage and this will usually be in relation to their weight.
With children’s medication like this, you can expect it to start working within 30 minutes of administering it. If you’re wondering how long after giving Tylenol should fever go down, it will depend on the child and their condition.
You can keep an eye on their fever and see if this has helped, but in most cases, it will be more about making them comfortable than lowering this number.
Although it can be scary when your baby has a fever, you need to try and remind yourself that it’s a perfectly normal bodily function. Unless they are having other symptoms that are worrying or you feel their condition is worsening, you can usually make them feel better with a few simple techniques.
A baby with a fever is always a cause for concern with parents, but it doesn’t have to be. Unless you can see that your baby is upset or experiencing pain, most fevers are welcomed in the body and should be left alone to run their course. You should only reach for the medication if it’s needed and if your baby’s pediatrician recommends it.
As parents, we are the best judge on whether our babies and children aren’t feeling well and will be able to pick up on things that others can’t. If you think something is wrong or want a second opinion on their symptoms, it's always a good idea to speak to a health professional and make sure that the fever isn’t a sign of anything more sinister.