9 things to keep your baby happy
My baby has an elevated temperature. Do I need to worry?
At what temperature does my baby have a fever?
Why do people get fever?
Fever is the body’s way of coping with infection. Macrophages, the policemen in the body, are constantly on patrol. If they detect something that doesn’t belong in the body (like bacteria, virus or a fungus), fight the invader as best they can. At the same time they call for help and signal the brain to regulate the body temperature upwards. Because bacteria and viruses are thermolabile, they can be killed by heat.
In addition, the body’s alarm signal seems to stimulate the production of white blood cells and other chemicals the body needs to fight off foreign bodies.
How to tell if my child has a fever?
Parents usually notice when you touch or kiss your baby’s eyebrow. Studies show that parents can actually detect a fever 75% of the time using this method. For accurate temperature, take a thermometer.
How to treat fever?
What should and shouldn’t I do if I have a fever?
Here’s how to help your baby when he or she has a fever
- Dress him in light cotton clothing.
- Put it in a cool room.
- Give him something to drink – that is, breast milk, formula or, for older babies, cold water and clear soups.
- Try a lukewarm bath or calf compresses
If you want to bathe Ihe feverish baby, put him in lukewarm water and gently rub his body with a soft sponge or washcloth. Do not dry your baby, allow the water to evaporate. This will reduce the fever for a short time within 10 to 20 minutes. For a calf wrap, use a tea towel dipped in lukewarm water, wring it out and wrap it around your child’s calves. The baby can then release heat to the wrap, causing his or her temperature to drop. If your calves are cold, please do not make calf compresses.
If your baby has a bad fever, have the doctor prescribe fever-reducing suppositories. Remember, however, that fever is a healthy reaction of the body, with which it defends itself against infection. Never give aspirin to a child under 12 years of age without consulting a doctor. This could lead to a rare but – deadly disease – called Reye syndrome.
What not to do if you have a fever?
- Do not impose strict bed rest on your child. Although it should not overexert itself, smaller activities are quite good.
- Don’t starve the fever – babies need lots of calories and plenty to drink.
- Don’t wrap your baby up warm so he sweats out the fever
- Do not worry too much.
How to tell that the fever is dangerous?
More important than the actual temperature is your baby’s behavior. If it is close to 40 degrees Celsius but eats and drinks well, responds to you and is easily soothed, you have less to worry about than if it is below 39 degrees but cries or whimpers without stopping, is weak, drinks poorly and seems apathetic. Call the doctor if your feverish child is acting unusually, has convulsions or a chronic illness, or you are simply worried. In any case, you should contact the doctor’s office so that they can decide whether a visit to the doctor’s office or even a home visit is necessary. In most cases, it is better to have the child looked at in the doctor’s office.
You need to see a doctor right away if:
- your baby is under 3 months and his temperature rises above 37.8 degrees.
- Your baby is 3 to 6 months and his temperature rises above 38.2 degrees.
- Your baby is older than 6 months and the temperature rises above 39.2 degrees.
- Any time you have a fever that lasts longer than three days.
What is a febrile convulsion?
If your child’s temperature suddenly rises rapidly, he or she becomes pale and stiff, twitches uncontrollably, and may even faint, then he or she has a febrile seizure. This looks very scary, but rarely harms the child.
Although seemingly endless, a convulsion usually ends after about 20 seconds at the latest. If a seizure lasts longer than five minutes, call 911 or take your baby to a hospital emergency room right away.
Do not try to hold your baby during a convulsion or suppress the convulsions. Just loosen the clothes and take the pacifier or bottle from the child’s mouth (he will not swallow his tongue). If it’s not the first time, you usually have an anticonvulsant suppository at home that you should then give rectally. After the febrile seizure you can call the doctor.