Baby Fever 10 common myths

Baby Fever 10 common myths


1 – Baby feels warm and she/he has fever

A baby’s temperature can slightly rise for many reasons other than fever. Playing on the outside, instant weather changes, being overdressed, being exposed to direct sunlight etc. Technically, not all high temperature qualify as fever. If you have doubts, take the body temperature of the baby and check whether the reading match to these values. Only then, you can confirm that your baby is having a fever.

  • Rectal, temperature: 100.4° F (38.0° C) or higher
  • Oral temperature: 100° F (37.8° C) or higher
  • Axillary (under the armpit) temperature: 99° F (37.2° C) or higher


2 – The normal body temperature is 98.60F

According to American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), normal body temperature for a healthy baby is between 970 F and 100.30 F. This temperature reading can be varied throughout the day due to weather changes, physical activities or due to hormone cycles. The rectal temperature reading is the steadiest, axillary and oral temperature readings, one to two degrees lower in the morning and higher in the late afternoon.


3 –Give your baby Ice or alcohol bath to reduce the fever

Bathing lowers the temperature only when the baby is in the bath. If you use cold water to reduce the body temperature, it may lower the temperature; but it can also spike the temperature dangerously.

Instead, use lukewarm water to give your baby a proper bath. It may not only bring down the temperature slowly, but also relief the baby and makes it easier to put them to bed. Placing a cold wash cloth on the forehead can also help reduce the body temperature and cope with severe headaches.


4 – All fevers need to be treated.

The first thing you have to understand is that fever is not an illness that needs to be treated. In fact, fever is a symptom which occurs when the immune system starts to fight against an illness. If your baby is older than 3 months of age and has a fever, it is a positive thing as fever can make the body less hospitable to germs.

Despite that, if your baby is in discomfort, you can give them pre-approved medicine or take them to see a doctor. Rather than paying attention to the temperature readings, observe the behavior of the baby and make sure baby feels comfortable. Sometimes, a baby with 1020 F fever may act normal whereas another baby with 101.40 F is in constant discomfort. If your baby is older than 3 months and acts normal with fever, in most cases fever would do it cause on its own without any medications.


5 – Febrile seizures cause epilepsy in children.

A seizure is a sudden movement of the body caused by fever and it is a frightening side effect for some babies. “Febrile seizures” occur in 2 to 4 percent of all children under age 5. In most cases, febrile seizures are harmless and do not cause brain damages. However, it can be a terrifying experience for both the parent and the baby.

Babies who have experienced a seizure before age of 1, have 50% chance of having another seizure. If the baby’s first seizure happens when the baby is over 1 years old, likelihood of another seizure drops to 30% and 90% of babies who don’t experience a seizure for a year have outgrown the likelihood of another seizure.


6 – Fever with 105° F temperature can cause brain damage.

Fevers which are between 104° F to 105° F are very common among children as they tend to have higher fevers than adults. Because children have an undeveloped immune system and that’s the way their body reacts to an infection. However, these fevers won’t cause any brain damage.

Generally, the fever would last 2 to 3 days and cause no permanent harm until the temperature rise up to 107° F (41.7° C). This is extremely rare and usually, babies with specific disorders may expose such dangerous aspects of fever. Fortunately, the brain has the capacity to keep untreated fevers below this temperature rate.


7 – The higher the fever, the sicker the child.

Fever is not a reliable indicator of serious illness. The seriousness of the illness can be measured only by observing the behavior of the baby. If your baby is older than 3 months and acts normal even with a fever or high body temperature, there is no need to worry about your baby. Most probably, the fever would disappear after 2 or 3 days.

But if your baby is younger than 3 months of age, fever is a serious symptom that needs medical opinion immediately. In that case, despite the behavior, take your baby to a doctor or the nearest hospital.


8 – Teething is the cause for fever when the first tooth comes

Teething begins when the baby is between four and seven months of age. In rare cases, this may delay up to one year or more. Yes, teething fever is a common symptom that occurs during the development of the first tooth. But, every fever which occurs during the cause of the first tooth is not related to it.

Usually, the symptoms of teething are never prolonged and they disappear after few days along with fever. However, if baby’s temperature reaches to the rectal temperature of 100.40 F, that doesn’t consider as a normal symptom and call your doctor for further advice. As a parent, it is best to examine the possibility of other illnesses and then to conclude whether the fever is caused by teething or not.


9 – A high fever will cause seizures.

Despite what you have overheard, high fever does not cause seizures in babies. Rather they are caused by an instant rise of temperature rate; even the increase of temperature from 990 F to 1010 F can cause a seizure or vice versa. In fact, some babies claim to experience seizure even before parents get to know that the baby has a fever. Also, seizures are harmless for the baby and do not try to bring down the fever while having a seizure. It may cause a serious damage to the baby.


10 – Unbreakable fever is caused by a serious illness

As mentioned earlier, fever is only a symptom of an underlying disease. Without a physical examination of the baby, no one can determine the cause of the fever. Fever can be caused by a virus or a bacteria and depend on that, fever can be a serious symptom or not. However, the response for the fever medicine is not good enough to determine the seriousness of the disease.

Healthy Resolution Group