Fever (a high temperature) is common in children. It is a normal response to many illnesses, the most common being an infection in the body. Fever itself is usually not harmful – in fact, it helps the body's immune system fight off infection.
While fevers can be annoying and uncomfortable for the child, we should be more concerned with what is causing the fever.
The height of the fever is not relevant, it is more important for you to monitor the symptoms of the underlying illness.
A fever is any temperature above 38 degree’s, and your child may also be… shivering, vomiting, irritable, sleepy, refusing to drink or in pain.
If your baby is under three months and has a fever above 38°C, then you should see a doctor, even if they have no other symptoms.
For taking your child’s temperature, I would reccomend the type of device that sits under the armpit (axilla)
Often fevers are caused by a virus, and sometimes by bacteria. Only bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics. Viral infections are far more common and don’t require antibiotics, because antibiotics do not cure viruses (spread the word!)
Contrary to popular belief, lowering a child’s temperature with paracetamol, will only relieve any discomfort they have, not get rid of the virus.
Viruses multiply and thrive in normal body temperature. When the body knows it is being attacked by a virus, it raises its temperature in defence, and the virus can no longer grow.
So you can see how by lowering the temperature, allows the virus to take hold even more and the virus may last longer as a result.
If your child is happy enough, there is no need to treat a fever with paracetamol or any other drug.
There are some other very simple things you can do to make your child comfortable…
Drinks - little & often. Please don’t worry if they don’t eat, they will catch up when they are feeling better.
Give extra breastfeeds, formula bottles or cooled boiled water to babies under six months old.
You can wipe your child’s head with tepid water but DO NOT shower them in cold water, this will make them shiver & cause the temperature to rise higher.
Watch your child for signs that their illness is getting worse.
I hope you find this blog post helpful! If you did, please share with fellow parent friends!
oh and leave a comment or ask a question in the comments below…. I love hearing from you guys.
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