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Fever

Baby Health

Fever

Every healthy child will catch a fever from time to time. Still, a lot of parents feel worried experiencing a feverish child for the first time.

What is a fever?
If your child has a fever, it means the body temperature is above normal. Usually, this happens as a normal response of a child’s immune system to a virus (or bacterial) infection. Most healthy children can tolerate a fever well.

What temperature is normal?
Around 37°C is normal (a digital thermometer is the best type to use to get an accurate temperature reading)

38–38.9°C – mild fever

39–39.9°C – high fever

40°C or higher – very high fever

Usual phases of fever

  1. First the child experiences coldness, maybe even chills, only the head is warm when you touch it. The hands and feet are cold. The child has flushed cheeks and is less active.  When your child experiences cold hands and feet, it is good to put your child in a warm bed with a hot water bag.
  2. The kid’s body found a new temperature balance, hands and feet are warm again. Now try to slowly cool the body by placing cold towels on the forehead, calves and neck
  3. The heat is distributing, whole body feels hot and sweaty, relaxed and sleepy

How to treat a mild fever?
Most fevers last only three to four days – and a mild fever may not need any treatment at all. If the fever is mild, you can treat your child with the following ideas:

Signs of real danger
Seek immediate medical help if:

What is a convulsion (fit)?
Sometimes a fever can lead to a convulsion. Then your child may jerk or twitch and become stiff or floppy. Children can also become unconscious or unaware of their surroundings, or have trouble breathing. Most often these convulsions don’t cause any harm, but if it this happens, follow these steps:

  1. Lie your child on their side
  2. Make sure they don’t breathe in any vomit
  3. If the fit doesn’t stop within five minutes, call emergency
  4. Take your child to your doctor when the fit has stopped

Don’t forget
A mild fever is usually a response to a virus infection, and without any other symptoms nothing to worry about. Make sure to keep an eye on your child’s overall condition and check for other symptoms. And most importantly, give them lots of attention, care and rest to ensure a quick recovery.

Verified:

Dr. Piyawut Kreetapirom, MD. (1 July 2020)

Sources:

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