The Fever is a physiological phenomenon of defense against infectious diseases, so it is an absolutely natural reaction. In most cases, the fever is not serious. It even has beneficial effects to fight infections, as long as it remains moderate, and in case there are no disturbing changes in your child's behavior.
The heat helps fight viruses better, so it should be left if it is well tolerated. Fever is the consequence of illness, not its cause. the fever is viral 9 times out of 10. If the fever is low, do not disturb your child, and it regulates spontaneously in a few days, no worries! Otherwise, that is to say that it generates discomfort, it is treated.
Therefore, the first thing to do, is to accurately measure the temperature of your little one . Do not just touch her forehead. Use a thermometer rather rectally, as this is more accurate. It is considered that from 38 ° C, there is presence of fever.
Tips for taking rectal temperature:
♣ Clean the thermometer with water and soap.
♣ Lubricate the silver tip with petroleum jelly.
♣ Put your baby on his back by bending his knees to his stomach and pulling them apart.
♣ Gently insert the thermometer into the rectum on 2.5 cm, hold it with your fingers.
♣ Remove at the beep.
Remember to wash your hands regularly!
When should you worry about a child's temperature?
If your child is less than 3 months old, consult immediately ! Similarly, if the fever exceeds 38.5 ° C, it seems not to support well, it seems shot. In addition, if other symptoms are present: ear pain, stomach pain, vomiting, headache ... This does not mean that it is serious, but better to consult to know the reasons for this fever, so that your child receives appropriate treatment.
When should you call the pediatrician for a fever?
Although fever is generally not serious, there are cases where it is urgent to go to the emergency room , or call 15:
• You notice in addition to the fever a deterioration of his general state (he refuses to eat, drink, doze, grows plaintive cries, and has a marbled skin).
• Fever is accompanied by headache, stiffness in the neck, vomiting. These are signs of meningitis, which represents a medical emergency.
• Your child is dehydrated: ie significant water loss, which is the result of heavy sweating, diarrhea, and persistent vomiting. The signs that should alert you are: deep and accelerated breathing, the skin of the knees, and elbows that become mottled. In the infant the absence of tears when it cries, the dry mouth, the layer remained dry after 8 hours.
• He has had heavy diarrhea, and has stomach aches.
• He seems to have difficulty breathing.
• The fever persists after 24 hours despite taking treatment, or it is accompanied by other disturbing symptoms.
• The fever reappears, whereas it disappeared during 24 hours.
• Your child is being followed for a chronic illness (cystic fibrosis, diabetes).
• When there are convulsions that exceed 5 minutes, and if it recovers in less than 10 minutes.
What is the action to take in case of fever?
In the case of a fever (finding the presence of temperature above 38 ° C checked with a rectal thermometer), here are the first steps to perform before administering any antipyretic (paracetamol, ibuprofen, or aspirin) :
• Make your child drink regularly, and more than usual.
• Ventilate the chamber, maintain a temperature between 18 ° C and 20 ° C.
• Discover your child, to allow the evacuation of the heat, to leave him a layer of even light clothing anyway.
• If he likes, you can spray him on the head, a thermal water. Small reminder, the baby sweats mainly by the head. You can dab the head with a cotton cloth, and pass a wet glove to remove sweat, it can do him good.
If after all this the fever does not drop, that it is at 38,5 ° C or more:
• You can give him paracetamol, except in case of contraindications, taking care to respect the doses according to the weight and the age of the child, as well as the time of 6 hours between 2 taken. No more than 4 taken per day.
• Stay with him to monitor the course of the fever and any associated symptoms.
Warning, contrary to what has long been said, bathing is not very effective, and can even create discomfort in the small, it lowers the temperature too quickly, and can increase the risk of convulsions. likewise, ice packs should not be used.
What medications are recommended in case of fever in children?
Prefer the use of paracetamol in first intention in case of fever if you wish to relieve the discomfort it generates. Paracetamol has antipyretic properties (lowering of fever), and analgesics (pain relief). As we said, making sure to adjust the dose, and respecting the 6 hour delay between catches. The alternation of drugs is not recommended, except medical advice. Reminder: Drugs that lower the temperature, in no way accelerate healing, since fever is the consequence and not the cause.
If your child is less than 3 months old, use only paracetamol!
Aspirin is no longer or almost no longer used because it has been associated with a form of liver failure in children especially in case of chicken pox or influenza. It should not be administered without medical advice. As for ibuprofen (anti-inflammatory), it exposes a few more adverse effects, including a risk of increased bacterial superinfection in case of chickenpox and kidney failure in the event of dehydration.
Follow this principle: use only one drug at a time, being careful to observe doses based on weight and age and the time between shots, which is usually 6 hours.
If despite these treatments, the fever persists for more than 3 days or your child does not really feel well, it is imperative to consult a doctor.
Why should we try to lower the baby fever?
Remember one essential thing. It is above all the cause of the fever that must be treated. Lowering fever in children first responds to a need for comfort. It can also be a way to prevent possible seizures that can occur when the temperature exceeds 40 degrees. However, high fever is not always responsible for seizures.
Convulsions: an extreme case feared by all parents
What is it?
It happens that in case of fever, convulsions occur in children genetically predisposed. The risk is multiplied by two in a child whose two parents have had febrile seizures in childhood. This usually occurs between 5 months and 5 years, with a peak frequency around 18 months.
Convulsions are febrile contractions of the child that result in contractions of jerky involuntary muscles. They appear with an episode of fever. While impressive, the convulsions are mostly benign. The child may lose consciousness or have a short absence. Sometimes his eyes roll back. The crisis lasts an average of 1 to 5 minutes, then it comes the recovery phase during which he dozes, often breathes loudly, then returned to normal after 10 minutes. crises occur when there is a sudden rise in temperature.
What to do in case of febrile seizures?
Difficult to hear, but do not panic when the crisis happens, anyway, try! Always consult a doctor after a crisis or go to the emergency room.
- Put your child in a lateral safety position, this prevents false roads, and choking if there is vomiting in case of unconsciousness.
- Stay close to your child, take care to remove all things around him that could hurt him, if it is possible to keep his head. However, do not try to totally prevent his movements.
- Loosen his clothes, and find out.
- Note the exact time of onset of crisis.
Rest assured, the convulsions can not in any case cause damage to the brain of the child. Most of the time, they do not reproduce.