Fever – a guide for parents of babies
In this article
What your baby needs
My baby has a high temperature. Should I be worried?
At what temperature does my baby have a fever?
Why do people get a fever??
Fever is a way for the body to cope with infections. Macrophages, the police officers in the body, are constantly on patrol. If they discover something that does not belong in the body (such as bacteria, viruses or a fungus), they fight the intruder as best they can. At the same time, they call for help and signal the brain to regulate the body temperature upwards. Because bacteria and viruses are thermolabile, the heat can kill them.
In addition, the body’s alarm signal appears to stimulate the production of white blood cells and other chemical substances that the body needs to fight the foreign bodies.
How do I find my child is feverish??
Parents usually notice this when you touch or kiss your baby’s eyebrow. Studies show that parents can actually diagnose fever with this method in 75% of all cases. Take a thermometer for the exact temperature.
How can I treat fever??
What should and shouldn’t I do if I have a fever??
How to help your baby when it is feverish
- Put on light cotton clothes.
- Put it in a cool room.
- Give him something to drink – breast milk, milk food or – for older babies – cold water and clear soups.
- Try a lukewarm bath or calf wrap
If you want to bathe your feverish baby, put it in lukewarm water and gently rub his body with a soft sponge or washcloth. Do not dry your baby, let the water evaporate. As a result, the fever drops briefly within 10 to 20 minutes. For calf wraps, use a tea towel that you dip in lukewarm water, wring out, and place around your child’s calves. The child can then release heat to the wrap, causing its temperature to drop. If the calves are cold, please do not wrap them.
If your baby has a feverish fever, then get a doctor to prescribe fever-lowering suppositories. But keep in mind that fever is a healthy response by the body to fight infection. Never give aspirin to a child under 12 without consulting a doctor. This could lead to a rare but deadly disease called Reye syndrome.
What should I not do if I have a fever??
- Do not prescribe strict bed rest for your child. Although it shouldn’t be overworking, smaller activities are fine.
- Don’t starve the fever – babies need a lot of calories and a lot to drink.
- Do not wrap your baby warm so that it sweats out the fever
- Don’t worry too much.
How do I know that the fever is dangerous?
Your baby’s behavior is more important than the current temperature. If it is almost 40 degrees Celsius, but eats and drinks well, responds to you, and is easy to calm down, then you have less to worry about than if it is below 39 degrees, but cries or whimpers continuously, is weak, bad drinks and seems apathetic. Call the doctor if your feverish child behaves abnormally, has cramps or a chronic illness, or is simply worried. In any case, you should contact the doctor’s office so that it can be decided from there whether a visit to the practice or even a home visit is necessary. In most cases, it is better to have the child viewed in practice.
You need a doctor right away if:
- Your baby is under 3 months and his temperature rises above 37.8 degrees.
- Your baby is 3 to 6 months and its temperature rises above 38.2 degrees.
- Your baby is older than 6 months and the temperature rises above 39.2 degrees.
- Any fever that lasts longer than three days.
What is a febrile seizure??
If your child’s temperature suddenly rises quickly, it becomes pale and stiff, it twitches uncontrollably and may even pass out, then they have a febrile convulsion. It looks very scary, but rarely harms the child.
Although it seems to last forever, a cramp usually ends after around 20 seconds at the latest. If the cramp persists for more than five minutes, call the emergency doctor or drive your baby to the emergency room of a hospital immediately.
Do not try to hold your baby in a cramp or suppress the twitching. Simply loosen the clothes and take the pacifier or bottle out of the child’s mouth (it will not swallow his tongue). If it’s not the first time, you usually have an anticonvulsant suppository at home that you should give rectally. After the febrile seizure, you can call the doctor.
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