A fever in a child can be dangerous. If left untreated it can also be fatal. At different ages, the symptoms can be a sign of imminent jeopardy or increased worry. To calm your fears or encourage you to call 911, scroll down to your child’s age group to see how serious the problem is.
Babies Under 3 Months
If your baby is under 3 months old and has a temperature of 101 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) or higher, call your local non-emergency number.
If your child is also vomiting, refusing to eat and not acting like themselves, call 911.
Fevers in children of this age are very common. They can often go away by themselves. However, you know your child, and if you notice an unusual change in behavior, or a quickly increasing temperature contact your pediatrician.
Babies Over 3 Months
Children around 3 months and younger are at a higher risk of danger because they cannot control their temperature very well. Their ability to sweat and shiver is not developed yet, which means they need us to control their temperature for them.
From 3 months onwards this skill starts to develop. For this reason, there is no need to call your local non-emergency number until your baby’s temperature reaches or exceeds 102 degrees Fahrenheit (39 degrees Celsius).
Again, if your child is refusing to eat or continues to vomit, this might be a sign of something more dangerous. Call 911 if you notice a change in your child’s behavior.
Children Under 2 Years
If your child is between 1 and 2 years old, and you notice the same symptoms you should contact your local non-emergency numbers.
This includes a temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit (39 degrees Celsius) or higher, a refusal to eat, vomiting, and a behavior change.
At this age, your child should be able to regulate their temperature which means they aren’t in immediate danger.
This advice changes, however, if your child has lost consciousness, cannot focus, or isn’t responding to you normally. If they develop these symptoms contact 911 and ask for an ambulance immediately.
Causes Of Fevers
Fevers are an instinctive method to make our body difficult for bacteria and viruses to survive. The temperature rise should kill or harm the bacteria, removing the threat.
Common causes of a fever include:
- Whooping Cough
- Cold and Flu
- Kidney or Urinary Tract Infections
- Respiratory Tract Infections
Less common and more serious illnesses that cause a fever are:
- Pneumonia (normally caused by infections making the lung tissue inflamed)
- Septicaemia (an inflection in the blood)
- Meningitis (an inflection in the protective layer of the brain and spinal cord)
- Strep A (bacteria in the throat or skin)
Allergies do not directly cause a fever, however, if your medical provider advises swapping your formula for another brand, use https://sellformula.com/ to earn money from the sale and avoid wasting the valuable product.
Although the temperature of your child is the main indicator of fever, there are other symptoms to look out for too.
The most obvious symptoms are flushed cheeks, sweaty to the touch, and hotter than usual.
Thermometers are the best device to gauge an accurate temperature, but if you touch your child’s forehead or tummy you may notice a temperature change.
When using a thermometer on a child under the age of 5, you should put the device under their armpit. This is for two reasons; if you put the thermometer in their ear or mouth they may move and harm themselves; secondly, these areas of their body are not well regulated so using the armpit will create a more accurate reading.
Hold the thermometer under their armpit for 15 seconds to get an accurate reading.
Do not use forehead thermometers as they aren’t reliable.
Treating A Fever
Because your child is creating heat, they can easily become dehydrated. To treat a fever, ensure that your child is drinking plenty of cool liquids. This could be water, breast milk, or formula depending on their age.
Even if your child states they aren’t thirsty, encourage them to continue drinking.
Put your child in lightweight thin clothing to help regulate their temperature.
You can use paracetamol to help your child reduce the fever. Read the instructions on the box for the required amount needed.
In most cases a fever will clear on its own, however, if your child is vomiting, unconscious, unable to communicate, confused, or refusing to eat you should call your local non-emergency number or 911.