Humans are fragile creatures. Even adults cannot protect themselves all the time let alone the tiny little children. However, adults can go beyond boundaries to protect their children and that is how children survive.
Even a rough cough from your child can worry you. Fevers are a whole new level of trouble here. However, they are quite harmless and common. In fact, some fevers are actually on your side.
Adults get sick quite often and this process of getting sick starts somewhere from when humans are a baby. And, the most common illness is a fever. Apparently, there are many kinds of fevers and ones that arise from various issues.
However, you cannot dismiss all of them as harmless and that is why you need to know about the fever in children when to worry about them. So, let us find out the fevers that should worry you, the ones that you can worry less about and what you can do about both.
Fever in Children When to Worry: What exactly is a fever
Well, fever is the increased temperature of the body. The normal human temperature is usually 37-degree Celsius or 98.6 Fahrenheit. If the temperature of the human body rises above 100.4 Fahrenheit or 38-degree Celsius then it is considered a fever.
However, do not get worried if your child’s temperature is not 37-degrees Celsius all the time. Apparently, this varies from human to human and from time to time. As long as it is under 100 Fahrenheit, it is not a fever.
Symptoms of a fever may include:
- Warmer than usual body temperature when touched.
- Shivers due to the changing body temperature.
- Sweat when the temperature begins to come down a bit.
Fever in Children When To Worry: How to check
Initially, adults check if their child has a fever by just touching the child on the forehead. However, this won’t tell you the actual temperature so you can’t tell if it’s serious or not. So, you can check in the following ways:
- A digital thermometer: This is by far the easiest to use. You just put in on the child’s skin and let it measure the temperature for you.
- An oral thermometer: You have to put this in your child’s mouth under the tongue and wait a while. It is not suitable for children too young as they are usually not patient enough to hold the thermometer in place for long.
- Rectal thermometer: Well, this is a bit uncomfortable but the most effective and accurate. You have to insert the thermometer via the anus to know the temperature.
Here, you can read our review of the 10 most accurate thermometers in the market.
Fever in Children When to Worry: What causes it?
There are some usual causes of fever and these are:
- Infections: Children get exposed to many germs and bacteria easily. In babies, especially, the only defense mechanism against these germs is the fever. Apparently, it is believed that a higher temperature of the body can make the body unsuitable for germs to dwell in. Thus, fever occurs as a means of protection.
- Immunizations: Sometimes children get fevers right after being vaccinated. This is more of a development process where the body fights with the introduced germs to make the body immune to it later on.
- Dressing and other factors: If you overdress your child in a hot environment then his temperature may rise.
Fever may occur due to many other serious conditions. If you are sure that these three are not the cause of the fever then it is best to get your child checked up.
Fever in Children When to Worry: What is normal?
Here is a list of things that you can worry less about:
- A temperature under 102 Fahrenheit: A fever is serious only if it rises above 102 Fahrenheit with other conditions being stable. So, if your child is experiencing a temperature under 102 F then it is probably harmless.
- A fever lasting less than five days: If the fever has not bothered your child for more than five days then it was just a minor infection or cold that the fever was fighting against.
- Regular Eating and Drinking: Is your child hungry? He may have a lesser appetite than usual but he should get hungry now and then. Furthermore, he should have no trouble drinking lots of fluids to stay hydrated.
- Usual mood: Of course your child will be a bit tired and will sleep more during a fever. However, there will be times when he wants to play and does play. He will be responsive and have times with better moods to play.
- Recently Immunized: it is usual for children to have a slightly raised temperature til 48 hours after immunization.
Fever in Children When to Worry: What is not normal?
Fevers are not always harmless and you should either go to a doctor or get your child checked up when the following happens:
- A temperature of or above 102 F: This is quite a high temperature and if it’s required, the body might be fighting more harmful germs.
- A fever that lasts longer than five days: The child’s body is running out of energy to fight whatever it is fighting. Along fever will make the child weak and will require some medicinal help from outside to speed up the process of healing.
- The child is unresponsive: You may notice that your child is not responding to you calling him or anything else. This means that the fever is quite serious and getting to his head. You must go to the hospital in such a case.
- Fever in a child under three months: Because the fragile little being is not supposed to catch a fever.
- Hampered eating and playing: If your child is not eating at all and not playing at any time of the day, the fever may not be normal. It is exhausting him. There should be better moments in a fever when the east or plays. If it’s not there, something may be wrong.
- Diarrhea and dehydration: Diarrhea often accompanies a fever and if it lasts too long, you must consult a doctor. Other than that, your child may get really dehydrated from the fever if he loses his appetite for drinks as well. Consult a doctor in both cases.
- Pain or aches: While fevers with various aches are common in adults, it’s not in children. So, if your child is in pain then you should get him checked.
- Bad mood: If the child is very fussy and irritated, it is not always a matter of concern as it happened during fevers. However, if you feel that something is really not right then consult a doctor.
- Rash or bruises: If rashes or bruises accompany a fever, it is from a serious infection. Rush to the emergency immediately.
- Seizures: Seizures are never normal. You must take your child to the hospital if one occurs.
- Blue lips, nails or tongue: Blue is never a good sign and it is related to circulation. So, go to the hospital immediately.
- Trouble breathing: Fevers do not cause trouble to breathe. So, there may be some serious condition behind the fever.
- Pain while peeing: It’s not a symptom of just fever. So, check for other illnesses.
- Other physical changes: You may notice bulges on the head and more with a fever, If you do, then the fever may be related to that so get it checked.
- Previous health conditions: If the child has a heart or any other diseases from before then it is best to get him checked.
These are just some of the usual things you should worry about. However, never ignore your instincts. If you think something is wrong even if it’s not clear, something might be.
You may also read this post >> Normal Baby Temperature VS Baby Fever Temperature
Fever in Children When to Worry: What can you do?
Normal fevers usually go away on their own and do not even require medicines for children. However, if your child is in discomfort or the aches are getting to him then you can do the following:
- Use medicines: After consulting a doctor, you can give your child the medicines to ease his condition and provide some comfort.
- Dress lightly: The temperature needs to go down and if you overdress your child then it will only take longer or make the condition worse. So, dress them in thin clothes and keep the child in a cool place.
- Let him rest: Fever does take up a lot of energy and needs more to heal. So, if your child wants to sleep more, let him. Avoid schools and other outings to let your child heal.
- Feed: Your child needs energy even if he does not have the appetite. Feed him fluids like water, soup, etc that are easy to ingest and also digest. This way he will stay hydrated as well.
- Sponge bath: This will provide temporary comfort to your child by decreasing the temperature for a while.
No matter how much you try, your child will catch a fever sooner or later. While most parents are lucky to experience a harmless fever session, many are not. It is best to be cautious and stay aware o any hidden condition that may be causing the fever.
Also, never ignore your instincts. Trust them if you think that your child’s behavior is unusual and the fever might actually be something else. The earlier you deal with the fever, the lesser chances of things getting out of hand.