My baby has a fever. What should I do?

Your child being sick is one of the most stressful, worrisome times for a parent. Even when it’s a common cold. But what about when your baby has a fever? . Even if it’s just a common cold, it doesn’t stop a parent from worrying. Then there’s fevers.

When to go to the emergency room.Fevers can be dangerous and potentially life-threatening. But not all fevers require a rush to the emergency room. Fevers occur when a human body is fighting to gain advantage over viruses and bacteria. So your baby having a fever is actually could just be a way to teach his or her body to boost the immune system.

However, there are conditions in which you need to be alert when your baby has a fever so that no unwanted episodes occur.

Check your baby’s temperature first

If you feel your baby’s forehead is hot to the touch, he or she could be having fever. Using a thermometer, you need to check what’s his or her temperature is. Most pediatricians place a baby’s normal temperature between 97°F (36.1°C) to 100°F (37.9°). Anything above this, it’s considered a fever.

Treatment according to age

  • If your baby is between 0 – 3 months old and has high temperature reading, you should go to your doctor immediately. Many parents make it a practice to go to the doctors even with a slight temperature because fever in infants can go up pretty quickly
  • For babies who are 3 months old or older, you can observe his or her behavior for the first 24 hours after taking the temperature. If you’re baby is active, eating well, and taking his or her fluids as usual, there’s no need to be too worried. However, if your baby’s fever is 103°F or more even before the 24 hours ends, you should still call your doctor for advice. He or she may not ask you to come on, but it’s good to alert your doctor about your child’s situation
  • If your baby is 6 months old or older, has a temperature of above 103°F, and experiencing symptoms such as loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or cough, you should bring your baby to the doctor as soon as you can

Fever treatment

Most doctors wouldn’t recommend getting over-the-counter antibiotics or fever medicines for children under the age of 12 months. If you don’t have to bring your child to see the doctor yet but there’s feverish temperature, you can sponge bath him or her every 60 – 90 minutes. This practice helps to break the fever.

If you’ve called your doctor, but he or she doesn’t see a need to bring in your child to the clinic, get the okay to give your child medicine such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If you’re unsure on how to measure the dosage, make sure you get the right dosage from your doctor because it has to depend on his weight.

Fever is a healthy way for your baby to learn to fight off infection. Just as long as you keep your eyes open on the potentially dangerous symptoms, your baby’s fever is another learning curve in his or her development.

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