10 TIPS ABOUT CHILD FE VER
Is it fever?
1. The human body temperature is around 37ºC
If the child is overdressed or in a warm environment it’s likely that his/her body temperature rises: the child is warm and has red cheeks.
2. To know if the child has fever it’s not enough to feel the forehead, it’s important to know the temperature by using a thermometer to measure it.
3. Your child has fever if the temperature:
- Rectal is superior to 38,0°C
- Oral is superior to 37,5ºC
- Armpit is superior to 37,2 °C
- Tympanum is superior to 38,0 °C
- Forehead is superior to 38,0 °C
4. Probable causes of fever:
- Infections caused by virus or bacteria; allergic rhinitis, other diseases.
- After the administration of vaccines.
- During the first teething.
5. Symptoms and behaviors
- The child might be irritable, having difficulty in falling asleep, cry frequently, and not have appetite.
- Chills and feeling cold means thermal increase. If the child is active you only have to monitor her/him.
6. Gestures that care for and treat
- Take the right amount of antipyretic (fever reducer) recommended by the pediatrician, measured accurately, observing the times and intervals between takings.
- Children should drink plenty of fluids, wear light clothing, resting in a warm environment, have warm showers (30-33ºC) for 10 to 20 minutes, you should apply cold water patches several times a day.
7. It is IMPORTANT to remember:
- Cold or icy water baths and alcohol rubs should not be used because of the temperature shock they can cause, as well as not letting the body eliminate heat.
- The child should only take the antipyretic if he or she has a fever.
- Aspirin or salicylates should not be used in children up to 12 years of age because they can cause serious reactions.
8. Is it worth going to the pediatrician?
Yes, it is always worth going to the pediatrician, because only he can point out other possible causes for the symptoms that the fever can hide, a serious problem that requires immediate medical intervention, this is what should be done when:
- The temperature exceeds 39°C
- The baby is less than 3 months old
- If at the end of three days, the fever does not go down or
- If there are other associated symptoms: nausea, drowsiness, vomiting, diarrhea,
- difficulty swallowing or lack of appetite, ear pain, stiff neck, apathy, breathing difficulties, spots or pimples on the skin and joint pains.
9. What is a febrile convulsion?
It is triggered by the very rapid rise in temperature, the nervous system of young children seems to be more susceptible to fever. It is as if, suddenly, there is a short circuit in the electrical activity of the brain.
It is common at ages between six months and five years.
The child’s body shakes with abrupt movements, must lie on a flat surface, on her/his side, with a cushion under the head, and remove all objects to avoid getting hurt.
You should not feed or give a drink because you risk choking.
At first febrile seizure you should always go to an Emergency Department for a careful assessment of the situation.
10. Pharmaceutical mother’s TIP
I have a picture posted on the refrigerator door with some information: temperatures (point 2.), the dose of antipyretic for each child, updated according to weight and age, and time intervals between takings.
It is a mini quick consultation procedure, accessible to all, parent, mother, grandparents, babysitting, a precious help when there is suspicion of fever.
In case of doubt talk to your family pharmacist 😉