The most immediate symptom of fever is the rise of body temperature. Fever is, in fact, a reaction of the body against an underlying disease. In most cases, the cause of the fever is a virus or a common cold, it can also be a serious illness such as a bacterial infection. If your baby has a high body temperature than usual, take the baby’s temperature using a digital thermometer.
The following temperature readings indicate fever:
- Rectal, ear or temporal artery temperature of 100.40 F (380 C) or higher
- Oral temperature of 1000 F (37.80 C) or higher
- Armpit temperature of 990 F (37.20 C) or higher
Is Baby Fever 102°F serious?
Generally, fevers of 1010 F to 1030 F (38.40 C to 39.50 C), are not serious unless your baby is younger than 3 months of age. High fever, of 1040 F (400 C) or higher which comes down to 1000 F – 1010 F is also not generally serious. However, if your baby’s behavior is worrisome, take them to a doctor or visit ER, regardless of the temperature reading.
What should you do?
When the baby has a fever, try to keep them comfortable as much as possible. There are various remedies that you could try at home to bring down the fever and comfort the baby. The most important thing to remember is to treat the symptoms, not the fever. A baby with 1020F may act fine whereas another baby with 1010F may fussy, irritated or need to hold constantly.
- Give your baby a lukewarm bath to reduce the fever. It also helps the baby to feel relief. But do not use cold water for this purpose as it may cause the baby to shiver.
- Place a cool, damp washcloth on the baby’s forehead. It helps to reduce the fever and to cope with fever related headaches.
- Offer plenty of fluids such as breast milk, formula, and fruit juices to keep the baby hydrated. If your baby eats solid food, you can also give them chilled food such as popsicles and yoghurts. This food may help to cool down the body from inside.
- Keep the room temperature at a normal rate and if you want to comfort the baby’s fever, place a fan near them. Make sure to use a low setting as too much air can make your baby shiver or chilled.
- If baby starts to shiver, offer a light blanket to cope with it until shivering goes away. But do not over dress your baby. It may cause the body temperature to rise once again.
- Offer medications, if these remedies couldn’t comfort the baby. Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen are widely used very effective fever reducers. Acetaminophen is suitable for babies older than 3 months of age whereas Ibuprofen is only suitable for babies above 6 months of age. Always, read the instructions before giving them to your baby.
Important things to remember
- If the baby is having a seizure, do not try to reduce the fever. Most seizures are harmless; even though it can be a very scary experience for parents. Wait until it passes and if you are worried, take them to a doctor.
- Do not give “Aspirin” for any child to reduce the fever unless a doctor advices. Aspirin triggers a rare disease called “Reye’s syndrome” in some babies.
- Ibuprofen may be harmful if your baby’s fever caused by dengue virus. Be hundred percent sure that fever is not caused by the dengue or ask for doctor’s recommendation.
- Do not over medicate your baby to reduce the fever. Instead, pay close attention to the behaviour. If you are worried about the sickness of the baby, take them to a doctor.
When to call the doctor
- If your baby is younger than 3 months and has a rectal temperature of 100.40 F or higher, call or visit your doctor despite other symptoms. Young infants have an undeveloped immune system and fever could be the only symptom of a serious underlying disease.
- If your baby is older than 3 months of age and has a rectal temperature 1020 F (38.90 C) or higher, take them to a doctor. In most cases, such fevers are not serious.
- If a newborn has a lower body temperature than normal rectal temperature, 970 F (38.10 C).
- If your baby’s fever stays more than 3 days, despite the age and temperature, call your doctor just to be safe.
- Above all, if you worry about the baby’s fever and cannot figure out what to do, do not hesitate to contact a doctor.
Other than that, if a baby suffers from any of below symptoms, they need to be examined by a doctor or another medical assistant immediately.
- Fever without sweating
- Severe headache
- Skin rashes
- Unusual eye sensitivity
- Stiff neck
- Constant vomiting or diarrhoea
- Difficulties in breathing or chest pain
- Pain when urinating
- Any unexplainable symptoms
103°F and 104°F fever
Most fevers range between 101° F and 104° F (38.3° C to 40° C) if caused by a virus. The temperature reading doesn’t necessarily relate to the seriousness of the illness. 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). Providentially, the brain has the capacity to keep untreated fevers below this temperature rate. Fever with 103°F and 104°F temperature can be controlled using above mentioned home remedies and basic medicines. However, if it lasts more than 3 days or temperature reading goes above 104° F, your baby has to see a doctor immediately.