Fever in children: when should I take my baby to the doctor?
Fever in children is a frequently asked topic. No wonder, after all, mom and dad are particularly worried about their own children. Especially with feverish babies. When should you see a doctor with your child??
What should you say as an experienced pediatrician? Maybe so much: There are exciting years ahead of you. They are now parents and instinctively the protection and safety of their children has come first. Those who have no children cannot understand that. It is a primal feeling that is difficult to grasp and explain. Child and adolescent health should be a priority in any society. Our children are the future!
Pediatricians are of particular importance. They are advisors for the parents and companions for the children. A task that requires a lot of sensitivity. The area of pediatrics and adolescent medicine is characterized by the fact that the pediatrician deals with a human being that is constantly changing and developing. This applies to individual organ functions such as blood pressure as well as for the child as a whole.
A child grows and develops over many years. It is an important pediatrician task to document this and, if necessary, to recognize delays and disruptions in development at an early stage.
Fever in children: primary prevention.
The pediatricians try to take all measures to ensure and maintain the health of your child (mother-child passport, preventive examinations). It is about nutrition and psychosocial security, hygiene and personal hygiene in newborns, prophylactic use of vitamins K and D, promoting dental health and, last but not least, carrying out vaccinations. There is also a focus on educating parents about measures to prevent sudden child death or accidents .
The aim here is to achieve complications of diseases that have arisen through their early detection and thus usually an improvement in the prognosis. Listening when parents describe symptoms, the most thorough physical examination of the child, the blood test for infections and, last but not least, the experienced pediatrician look – all of this should enable quick, correct and competent action.
It includes measures to prevent the progression or recurrence of a treated disease.
Febrile diseases (when to the pediatrician?)
Basically, the younger a child is, the more careful you should be. Just as the newborn grows and thrives, a fully functioning immune system is only formed. The child’s organism "learns" with each infection, but in the case of illnesses it cannot always overcome the illness on its own (self-healing powers). It is often important to examine the child and determine the cause of the fever. Then it can be discussed how best to support the child’s self-healing powers.
Antibiotics should be used specifically! They work and are indicated for so-called bacterial infections (purulent inflammation in the ENT area, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, etc.). With the many viral infections that are just as common, they do not improve the condition, but even have an adverse effect on your child. It is all the more important here to have the child examined by a pediatrician so that the right course can be set for your child’s health and to prevent lasting damage.
In older children, the overall condition is often the deciding factor in whether the child should be examined by a pediatrician: is the disease developing rapidly? Can the fever hardly be lowered? Is the general condition of the child badly affected? Does the child still eat and drink or refuse, etc.?
In such cases, you should immediately consult a pediatrician.
Facts about pediatricians
- Resident pediatricians take over the specialist work of internists and neurologists from birth to the age of 18 and, with a training period of 63 months, act as the most competent primary care provider for this age group. The subject was shortened from 4 to 3 months in general medicine education (= "family doctor").
- Austrian pediatricians are also politically committed to creating a "lobby" for children and adolescents on important health policy issues. More information can be found here: http://www.polkm.org/
- Specific care provided by pediatricians leads to lower mortality rates, fewer hospital admissions, better management of acute and chronic illnesses, fewer antibiotic therapies with less resistance development and better vaccination rates.
- Infant and child mortality is continuously decreasing. This is due to the containment and improved treatability of communicable diseases (infectious diseases).
In order to perhaps give you a little more knowledge about the development of a child, we recommend the following reading:
- Children’s consultation: a medical-pedagogical advisor;
Michaela Glöckler, Wolfgang Goebel, Karin Michael; August 2015
- Baby years: development and education in the first four years;
Remo H. Largo; July 2013
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