Infant Fever—All You Want to Know Is Here

When your child wakes up with crying in the midnight, it can be a great concern for you. You might not know whether to call the doctor or get emergency medical care. Knowing a few tips regarding how to manage infant fever can help you get through the night safely and comfortably, also, make yourself clear that under what situations you should take your little one to hospital.

What Are the Signs of Infant Fever?

One of the most common indicators of infant fever is a forehead that is warm to the touch, but it is not a necessary symptom of infant fever. Some infants will also get a fever without a warm forehead. Besides, you might notice your baby is much crankier than the usual days. Some other common symptoms of infant fever include:

  • Poor eating
  • Bad sleeping
  • Slackness
  • Lack of interest in play
  • Convulsions or seizure

What Causes Infant Fever?

1. Infection

The most common cause of infant fever is a viral infection such as coxsakie, roseola, the flu or cold. In most cases, viruses are not dangerous and will come to their life end within several days, which are usually cannot be treated by antibiotics. Besides, bacterial infections such as bladder or ear infections, pneumonia, sinus infection or strep throat can also cause fever and will need to be treated with antibiotics. In general, you can wait up to 12 hours if your child is sick in the midnight when your doctor is not available.

2. Teething

A common symptom of teething is a slight fever. Although teething can cause your baby to experience a slight increase in body temperature, it does not usually cause a fever over 100 F (37.8°C).

3. Overdressing

Infants can develop a fever if they stay in a hot environment or they are wearing too many layers. Newborns cannot regulate their temperature well, which makes it harder for them to cool down once overheated. Because fever can be a sign of an infection, infants that are overdressed should still be taken to a doctor if they develop a fever.

How Can You Take Your Infant’s Temperature?

1. Glass Underarm Thermometer

Traditional thermometers are still, to some extent, the most accurate. Place the thermometer deep into the soft skin underneath your child’s arm and hold it between the arm and the chest for 3 minutes. This can be difficult if your child is quite fussy.

2. Ear Thermometer

This method is becoming more popular because it’s fast and easy if your child is fussing, though the accuracy of these thermometers can vary. If you are unsure of the reading your thermometer is giving you, confirm thefigure with a glass thermometer.

3. Rectal Glass Thermometer

This kind of thermometer is supposed to be used only for newborns younger than 3 months, whose temperature needs to be tested accurately. Place a glass thermometer around half an inch into the anus, being careful and quite gentle. Hold the thermometer for 3 minutes, then you can get the newborn’s temperature.

4. Digital Thermometer

Rectal, oral and underarm thermometers are available in a faster digital form. The ear thermometer is not necessarily recommended as it can lose some accuracy. However, it can be the most convenient way.

Here is a video sharing more tips on taking temperature of your infant:

How to Deal with Your Infant’s Fever

1. Give Lots of Fluids

Make sure your child is drinking plenty of fluids but avoid very sugary fruit juices. If you are going to give your child juice, mix equal amounts of water and juice. Gelatin or popsicles can also help your child get fluids.

2. Offer Solids

Offering some solids to your infant can also help to ease infant fever. Remember that you have to give foods that are available for your child. Foods that are low in fiber and bland such as refined cereal, pasta or crackers are often better tolerated. And just do not force your infant to eat if they feel nauseated.

3. Make Your Infant Dress Comfortable

Try to avoid bundling your child, or it can prevent their fever from dropping. Keep the room at a comfortable temperature, or use a fan to circulate the air when you infant feels stuffy. Also keep your child no more than one light layer of clothing and one light layer of bedding so your infant will not overheat as they sleep.

4. Give Some Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen

Both acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help to lower fever and sooth your infant. Acetaminophen can be taken every 4-6 hours and ibuprofen every 6-8 hours. Most doses are given based on your child’s body weight so follow the instructions on the packaging. If you are unsure about giving these medications to your child consult your doctor. Also keep in mind that you have toseek medical advice before giving medication to children under 3 months. Do not give a child aspirin because it can cause dangerous side effects.

5. Apply a Tepid Bath

Give your infant a tepid bath in a tub or with a sponge. As the cool water evaporates, it will help to bring down your infant’s temperature. This is usually recommended because it can help to bring down a fever very quickly. However, do not use cold water for this remedy because it can cause your child to shiver which will actually raise their body temperature. Some old remedies often recommended a rubbing alcohol bath, but this is also not recommended because it could cause alcohol poisoning or a temperature spike.

6. Try to Stay Cool

Use a fan on a low setting to create air circulation around the room. Avoid using a high setting or allowing the fan to blow onto your infant, in such a manner, the child can be kept from getting chilled. Stay in the shade when you go outdoors or stay in a cool place at home until your infant’s fever subsides.

When to See a Doctor

It is hard not to worry when your child has a fever for every parent. However, infant fever rarely causes any harm in a child over 6 months old. This is the body’s warning sign that something is wrong and acts as a natural defense against infection, so fever is a very natural phenomenon. If your infant is older than 6 months, you can observe how poorly your child feels and how long the fever lasts then determine what kind of medical care you infant need.

If your child is under three months and has a fever of 100.4 F (38°C) or more you should see your doctor. Call a doctor for a child of six months or older if your child has a fever over 102.2 F (39°C).

The following video explains when to worry about your infant’s fever: