Fever In Babies And Children

The normal body temperature for a baby or child is the same as for an adult: 36–37 °C. Feeling Baby’s forehead will give you an indication of whether or not Baby is warmer than usual, but you should always use a thermometer to get an exact temperature. Baby’ temperature control system only really develops when he is about four years old; until then he gets hotter and colder than adults more quickly. Be careful not to overdress Baby; if his neck feels hot and clammy you should remove a few layers of clothing. At the same time, don’t forget to put a hat on Baby if it’s quite cool or you go for a walk with Baby; he loses most of his heat through his head.

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Treating A Fever

If Baby has a fever, he’ll probably be quite miserable. Just remember that fever itself isn’t a disease; it’s the body’s way of fighting off infection and inflammation so it doesn’t always need to be completely broken. Don’t let a fever peak too high suddenly or run for longer than one day without treatment though; a fever over 38,5 °C can result in convulsions. To treat a fever:

  • Give homeopathic fever remedies to help the body deal with the underlying inflammation or infection
  • Give fever medication at night or if the fever peaks higher than 38,5 °C – giving half the suggested dose will help lessen the fever while still letting Baby’s body fight the cause
  • Avoid asprin in babies and small children and opt for paracetamol-based medication instead
  • Strip Baby to just his vest and nappy
  • Cool the room by opening the windows and putting on an electric fan – just keep him out of the draught
  • Wrap cool, wet linen cloths around Baby’s arms and legs, and renew them every few minutes 
  • Place a facecloth with ice cubes in it on Baby’s forehead or the nape of his neck
  • Bath Baby in tepid water – not too cold, otherwise it will be a shock to Baby’s system
  • Give Baby lots of cool liquids

Convulsions

Convulsions mostly occur when a fever rises over 39–39,5 °C. If your little one does convulse from fever, there’s not much you can do apart from:

  • Staying with him
  • Making sure he can’t hurt himself by falling against anything dangerous
  • Applying cooling measures as soon as the convulsion stops

Most babies go blue around the mouth and nails when they convulse; this should pass once the convulsion ends, but your little one will be tired and confused afterwards. Get your little one checked to make sure that nothing else caused the convulsions and treat any underlying conditions speedily. Febrile conditions seldom have lasting negative effects and are usually outgrown when little ones’ temperature control systems have matured at about four years.