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Fever is an increase in body temperature that helps our body fight infections.
When our body activates its defenses against germs, body temperature rises, therefore, fever is not our enemy, but our ally, and the important thing is not to reduce it, but to find out why it occurs.
To determine what is the cause of fever, it is essential to observe the symptoms that the child presents. Generally, fever appears in children due to mild ailments such as infections of the respiratory tract (colds, flu, pharyngitis), the digestive system (gastroenteritis, dehydration) ...
Fever is detected by a mercury thermometer that is placed either in the armpit or in the rectum. Currently, there are also digital thermometers that take a child's temperature in the armpit or on the forehead. In any case, we must bear in mind that the child is feverish when the temperature in the armpit exceeds 37.5ºC or 38ºC in the rectum. Up to 39 ºC the fever is considered moderate and from 39 ºC we speak of high fever.
When the temperature is higher than 40 ºC or there is a sudden change in body temperature in the child, he may have seizures. On the other hand, the low temperature does not matter except in newborns.
It is not advisable to lower the fever when it does not exceed 38 ºC, since it supposes a body defense of the child to fight the infection. If the child is well, despite the fever, we should not use antipyretics. In the event that he is ill, paracetamol can be used and when we are at home it is advisable to offer him frequently fluids (water, broth or sugary drinks) and remove his warm clothing.
Do not be alarmed because up to 39ºC is considered moderate. In this case, it is advisable to give the child the appropriate dose of paracetamol or ibuprofen, continue with the administration of fluids and bathe the child by filling one third of the bath with warm water. The bath should last about 30 minutes, while we wet it with a soft sponge soaked in water, until we check that the temperature is below 38.9 ºC.
It is mandatory to lower the fever when it exceeds 40ºC in children and 39 or 39.5ºC in infants. When the temperature exceeds 41 ºC or 40 ºC in less than 3 months, it is urgent to reduce the temperature. And also, in general, antipyretics should be used when the child has fever, severe headache (headache), joint pain or severe discomfort.
To lower a high fever, it is effective to put water compresses at room temperature, never frost, on the child's forehead or body, bathe the child in warm water and take it off.
When the child has a high fever, it is always necessary to take him to the pediatrician, but we must go to the ER when we see that the child is breathing with difficulty, has had seizures, is very down, sleepy or irritable, or has spots on the skin.
You can read more articles similar to What is fever and how does it go down in children and babies, in the category of Children's Diseases on site.