Fever Fears: A Guide for Treating Fever in Babies
Fevers are a common illness, but its doesn’t always have to be bad thing. When a child or adult has a fever it’s the immune system tries to eliminate a virus or an infection in the body.
Many children can tolerate a fever that it up to 5 days under normal circumstances.
One main reason why babies get fevers is from a viral infection. Another reason is teething which causes a slight increase in body temperature. In younger babies, it may be a sign of a serious infection.
When your child has a fever, you might be in great concern. You might even call a doctor or even take them into emergency medical care. The guidelines below may be helpful.
Baby Fever Guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):
- Newborns up to 3 months: Anything above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) You should be concerned.
- Babies between 3 and 6 months: A fever above 101 degrees Fahrenheit ( 38.3 degrees Celsius) should be seen by a doctor
- Toddler 6 months and older. A temperature above 103 degrees Fahrenheit ( 39.4 degrees Celsius) needs to be seen by a doctor.
If your baby shows other signs or symptoms of illness, such as a cold, cough, vomiting or diarrhea, consult your doctor. Moreover, as a parent, always trust your instincts. If you think you should contact the doctor, go ahead.
In any situation, in addition to your doctor’s prescribed medication, you can follow a few tips to help manage or reduce your baby’s fever.
Here are the top ways to reduce a fever in babies.
When you first notice your baby is beginning to get a fever, the first thing you should do is to place a cold wet cloth on their forehead. The water from the washcloth will evaporate from the skin, which will help reduce the fever.
- Place cold water into a bowel
- Damp a wash cloth with this water
- Wring out any excess water; place it on your baby’s forehead.
- When the wash cloth warms up, remove it and repeat the last steps
- Do this until their fever has gone away.
You may also damp area of your child’s body like their armpits, feet, hand and groin to help the fever reduce faster.
Note: Never use very cold or ice water, as it may cause the internal body temperature to increase.
Babies who are younger than 6 months and have a fever, consuming breast milk is very important. It gives them a great balance of nutrients, which will boost your babies immune system and fight off any illness.
Breast milk is easily digested. It keeps a baby hydrated, which is will help your child recover quickly.
- Try to breastfeeding as much as you can. Your baby might refuse eating when they have a fever so try different position. You can also try to keep your baby upright during breast-feeding to make your child feel more comfortable.
- If you have tried everything and your baby just won’t eat, you a pump and feed the milk with a spoon or in a bottle.
Rub the soles of your babies feet using warm oil to help you fussy child relax. This will also help your child sleep better and help them recover faster.
Foot massage also helps regulate body temperature.
- Rub olive oil on the soles of their feet.
- Gently massage their feet with your thumbs.
- After massaging their soles you should massage their whole foot.
- Do this for a few minute and you can repeat if necessary.
When massage a baby’s foot, be careful not to do it too much.
Apple Cider Vinegar
For babies 1 year and older, you can try an apple cider vinegar remedy. Because apple cider vinegar helps draw heat out of the body, it can reduce a high body temperature.
- Add ¼ cup of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to a large bowl of lukewarm water.
- Soak a washcloth in it, then wring out the excess liquid.
- Use this damp cloth to give your baby a sponge bath.
- Repeat 2 or 3 times a day until the fever has dropped.
To reduce a fever for toddlers over 1 year old, try basil. This herb can decrease their fever. It works like a natural antibiotic and also boosts the immune system.
- Boil a handful of basil leaves in 2 cups of water, wait until half of the water has evaporated and add a little sugar for taste. Give this to your child a couple times a day.
- If your child is old enough they can also chew on basils leaves. Make sure the leaves are wash completely before giving it to them.
Regularly take your baby’s temperature and write it down on a notepad. This will help a doctor assess the changes that have occurred during the days when your baby is not well.
- Make sure to check your baby’s temperature though out the night.
- Monitor and look for signs of dehydration or rashes, if you do call a doctor immediately.
- Your child should urinate at least every four hours and their urine should be light.
- If your child won’t stop crying call a doctor.
- If your baby is fussy trying rocking them so they will feel ease.
- Don’t take your child to daycare until they have fully recovered.
- Don’t leave your child alone for a long period.
- You can feed your baby solid food during this time but if they dont want it don’t force it.
- It’s best to feed them soft food that are low in fiber like bread, crackers and warm cereals like oatmeal, cream of wheat or soup.
- If your doctor has prescribed medicine, never give more than the recommended dosage to your child.
- Always use a measuring device to give medication.
- Don’t treat a fever in children under 18 years of age with aspirin, as it can lead to serious health problems.
- Make sure to keep your baby up to date with all of his or her immunizations.