Measuring fever correctly& lower © Aleksandra Suzi / AdobeStock.com
If a child becomes ill, a fever is usually also involved. As a symptom alone, however, it is not very meaningful; it is usually more an expression of an illness in conjunction with other symptoms. This overview should help you to quickly make a diagnosis. In addition, we will show you how to take your child’s temperature correctly and which methods you can use to lower the temperature quickly.
Important for parents of newborns: The ability to respond with fever is evt. in very young babies not yet fully developed. That is why fever is said to occur in babies in the first weeks of their life, starting at 38° Celsius. If the child seems listless, drinks poorly or shows a change in skin color, contact a pediatrician.
Fever or elevated temperature?
Babies and children get fever much more often than adults. Almost every small infection in children is accompanied by fever or at least an elevated temperature. Flu, pneumonia or otitis media are only a few of the possible causes of fever. But your child’s body temperature can sometimes be elevated even without an actual illness – for example, if your child has been outdoors a lot or is dressed too warmly.
Fever is not a disease, but a symptom and in many cases it can be important and helpful for your child. With fever, the body activates its valuable and healthy defense response and trains the child’s immune system. Since most disease germs feel right at home at around 37°C and can’t multiply well above around 38.5°C, the elevated body temperature weakens the bacteria, contributing to a faster, better recovery. The immune system is additionally made strong against later pathogens.
In general, you should keep in mind that body temperature can fluctuate depending on the time of day. So it is often lower in the morning than in the evening. The normal temperature of a child is between 36.1 ° C and 37.8 ° C, up to 38.4 ° C is called increased temperature and everything from 38.5 ° C is called a fever in a child.
Taking a fever correctly
The best way to take a fever is to use a digital or infrared thermometer, because they show the result of the measurement within a short time. How or. the best place to take your temperature depends on the age of your child:
Up to 6. The measurement is usually taken rectally, i.e. in the buttocks, before the child reaches the age of 18. Grease the thermometer a little so that it glides better. The measurement should take about three minutes. With an infant, it’s usually a good idea to hold both feet and lift your legs slightly, while with a toddler, it’s best to rest your stomach over your thigh.
If your child is already bigger, you can also take a fever under the armpits. Note, however, that the measured temperature in the armpit is about one degree lower than the actual body temperature. Alternatively, you can measure orally, under your child’s tongue, your offspring should keep their mouth closed during the measurement period of about three minutes.
There are also more modern fever measuring devices available, which only have to be applied briefly to the temple or ear. However, these are rather inaccurate for babies and toddlers.
Tips: Here’s how you can lower a fever
Most of the time a feverish child feels listless and groggy. It goes without saying that your child needs a lot of attention and care from you during this time. In addition, you can administer a fever-reducing medication after consultation with your pediatrician. As a rule, pediatricians recommend to resort to such means from 39 degrees. But you can also help your child with the following little tips and home remedies:
Plenty of fluids! Your child must drink a lot so that the body does not dry out. So offer him water or tea regularly – every half hour or so.
Fever is basically no cause for concern in a child, because it ensures that bacteria and viruses can multiply more poorly than at a normal body temperature. If necessary, you can use some quick methods to reduce the temperature without having to resort to chemical medications. If the fever does not go down despite these measures, or if your child’s general condition deteriorates, and if the fever is above 39 degrees, you should always contact your pediatrician in case of doubt.
Child fever in Corona times:
Children are not considered at risk, but they can also become infected with the coronavirus. But the courses are usually mild in children. In many cases, the typical corona symptoms do not even appear. If your child shows symptoms of a corona infection with fever and cough, you don’t have to worry any more than with a normal flu. Before you go to the doctor, however, you must in any case call first.