The Facts About Pediatric Fever
When you are a parent, pediatric fever can be a little scary, but you can help to alleviate this fear by finding out the facts about fever in children. The more you understand about a child’s fever, the better you will be able to treat the problem, or judge when it is necessary to take your child to the hospital.
What You Should Know About Pediatric Fever
- If your child is younger than 3 months of age and has a rectal temperature of more than 100.4F, you will want to seek medical attention immediately.
- Along with how high a fever is you will also need to evaluate your child’s symptoms. A high fever is only one of the symptoms, if the child seems seriously ill but only has a slight temperature, it may be just as dangerous as a child that has a high fever, but is still active.
- It is best not to use the strips that you apply on the forehead, as they are typically not very accurate.
- A thermometer that is placed in the ear will not be accurate if the child is less than 6 months old, or if the fever is higher than 102F.
- In most cases a high pediatric fever will not cause brain damage, unless it reaches 107F. It is usually a certain type of infection that causes the brain damage, such as spinal meningitis, which is an infection of the spinal fluid.
- Infants that are younger than 2 months should not be given Tylenol unless advised to do so by the child’s doctor. The most accurate method of taking an infant’s temperature is a rectal thermometer. If the child is wrapped in a blanket, be sure to unwrap them and wait a few minutes before taking the child’s temperature to ensure you are getting an accurate reading.
A child’s heart rate and breathing rate may increase if they have pediatric fever.
- Although a child can suffer a seizure due to fever, this only occurs in about 5% of children.
- Despite the common belief that teething can cause a fever, if your child’s fever is higher than 100.4F, it will not be due to teething; you will want to take your baby to the doctor as soon as possible.
- When someone has a fever the most likely cause will be a virus or bacterial infection. For children the cause is often a virus.
Treating Pediatric Fever
- You can give your child Tylenol to help reduce pediatric fever, as long as you have consulted with the child’s doctor first. It is also a good idea to dress the child lightly; too much clothing can raise a fever.
- In most cases you will not have to give a child a sponge bath to reduce fever, this is only necessary if the fever is due to heatstroke, or if there is a risk of seizure. If you do give a sponge bath to your child to reduce fever, you will want to use lukewarm water; never use cold water or ice. You will also not want to use alcohol.
- When your child has a fever try to give them plenty of liquids and ensure they are resting. If your child has a fever and is listless, crying continually or refuses to eat, you will want to contact the child’s doctor. It is also important for your child to see a doctor if they are complaining of a stiff neck, along with fever, or appear to have problems with breathing.