Red cheeks, restlessness and a lot of nagging: these are typical signs of fever in babies. As a mom, you worry directly. But how dangerous is fever really in babies?
Children fever easily. This is often harmless, because fever is a natural reaction of the body to the penetration of bacilli. The rise in temperature activates the immune system and supports the body in its fight against the invaders. Nevertheless, fever in babies should be taken seriously and kept under close observation. Otherwise the small body dries out quickly and the fever can rise quickly.
When does one start to speak of a fever in a baby?
Elevated temperature or fever already? Many mothers are unsure. The normal body temperature is between 36.5 and 37.5 degrees Celsius. Doctors speak of increased temperature when the thermometer indicates a value between 37.6 and 38.4 degrees. Children or adults are referred to as fevers, from a temperature of 38.5 degrees.
Baby has temperature: When should I go to the pediatrician?
In infants, the fever limit is somewhat lower, and in babies under 3 months should be at 38 degrees, a doctor should be contacted.
Slightly larger babies often have fevers, however, which often makes it difficult for parents to decide whether or not to consult a doctor. Here the general condition is decisive – if it is bad, a doctor should definitely be consulted.
I’m gonna need to see if I’ve got a fever in the baby: What are the typical symptoms?
Mamas often notice very quickly when something is wrong with their child. In fever, the baby is often cranky, restless and sleepy. Many children are not hungry.
Add to that some typical external fever symptoms:
- The child’s cheeks are red,
- the face feels hot,
- the eyes have a feverish sheen.
If these characteristics come together, fever should definitely be measured in order to know the exact temperature.
Measuring fever in babies
Fever can generally be measured in the buttocks, in the ear canal, in the mouth or (in older children) under the armpit. For babies, however, doctors recommend the rectal method (in the buttocks) in order to obtain measurement values that are as accurate as possible. A thermometer is smeared with some Vaseline and carefully inserted into the child’s buttocks for a moment. The temperature is displayed particularly accurately here – this is important if the fever occurs in an infant or baby and can rise quickly.
Tip: Digital clinical thermometers or infrared thermometers are particularly suitable because they display the measurement result within a very short time.
Lowering fever in babies: When and how?
In older children and adults, fever must first be lowered from 39 degrees. In a baby, especially in infants, fever should be lowered immediately and a doctor should be consulted if the fever remains.
Since high fever can lead to a fever cramp in a baby, fever-reducing measures should be taken from a body temperature of 38.5 degrees:
- place wet cloths on one’s forehead
- wet wrap one’s calf
- gently rub the baby’s forearms with a wet washcloth
- wet pulse wraps around the baby’s wrists
- give antipyretic drugs such as suppositories, drops, or juice
Some babies also have a slightly elevated temperature when teething. Here a cool teething ring or a damp cloth on the forehead helps. You suspect that your baby’s “fever” could be due to his first teeth? Then discover here 7 signs that babies (soon) are toothing to be sure of your cause.
Baby fever: 5 behavioural tips & measures
First fever makes a baby flabby. It should therefore sleep a lot and stay warm enough in bed.
2. even if they are neither thirsty nor hungry, they should drink and eat regularly. A sufficient supply of fluids is particularly important, as the fever quickly dries out the baby’s body. Every half hour to an hour the child should be offered water, tea or juice to drink.
3. hunger also lacks feverish babies as a rule. One should not force the children to eat, but nevertheless offer easily digestible food and make it palatable to them.
4. to keep an eye on the child’s temperature and, if necessary, visit the paediatrician again, you should measure fever several times a day.
5. the fever usually goes away by itself after a few days. A doctor should be consulted if, in addition to the fever, other symptoms occur in the baby such as diarrhoea or rash.
Further information on the subject of fever can be found on onmeda.de and on the online portal of the Federal Centre for Health Education (BzGA).
Four tips to get your baby to sleep through the night:
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