Lowering the fever of the baby does not help to cure the underlying disease. But, if the baby is constant discomfort due to high temperature, reducing the fever may help them to stay calm and avoid shivering. If your baby is under 3 months of age, always seek medical advice without trying to bring down fever. Otherwise, these tactics will be helpful for you to control mid-level fevers at home.
Treating fevers at home
- While baby rests or sleeps, place a cool, damp wash cloth on the forehead. It helps to reduce the fever as well as to cope with fever related headaches.
- Lukewarm bath also helps to bring down the fever in babies. Keep in mind not to use cold water for this purpose as it may cause the baby to shiver and increase the body temperature once again.
- Give your baby lots of fluids such as breast milk, formula, fruit juices as well as chilled food such as popsicles and yoghurt’s. This food can help cool down the body from inside out keep the baby hydrated.
- Keep the baby near a fan and make sure to use a low setting as too much air can make your baby chilled. Also, have the fan circulate the air nearby the baby rather than blowing on to baby’s face directly.
- Dress your baby in light weight clothes. If the baby starts shivering offer a light blanket and remove it once shivering goes away. Covering the baby in a light blanket is more suitable than adding another layer of clothes.
- Always stay indoors when the baby is sick. Travelling can cause the baby to become more tired and fussy than usual.
What you should not do
- Do not try to bring down the fever while your baby is having a seizure. It may cause severe damages to the baby.
- Do not give fever medications to babies under 3 months of age without doctor’s recommendation.
- Under any circumstance, do not give your baby “Aspirin” to reduce the fever unless the doctor advice. Aspirin triggers Reye’s syndrome in some babies.
- Do not give ibuprofen to your baby unless a doctor recommended and until you are sure fever is not caused by the dengue virus.
- Do not over medicate on fever. Most medications have a recommended dosage on the label. Read the instructions carefully before medicating the baby.
- Forget the old saying “starve a fever”. Instead, give your baby easily eatable food when they are ready to eat. Otherwise, offer plenty of fluids along with chilled food.
When to call the doctor
Fever is a very common symptom in young babies to indicate their immune system is fighting against an illness in the body. In most cases, fever disappears itself. Sometimes, it is critical to seek medical assistance to cure underlying disease what caused the fever. Other than that, as parents, do not hesitate to contact your family doctor or pediatrician if you have doubts about your baby’s situation.
- If your baby is under 3 month of age and has a fever, call the doctor immediately. Younger babies have an undeveloped immune system and fever can be a symptom of another serious illness. Therefore, getting immediate medical attention for your baby is highly recommend.
- If the baby is 3 to 5 months old and temperature rises up to 101F or higher, call the doctor and ask for further advice. For babies older than 6 months of age, call the doctor when fever reaches 102F or more. Although, make sure to pay your attention to baby’s behaviour more than temperature rises.
- Despite the baby’s age and temperature, call the doctor immediately if the baby has difficulties in breathing, have spots on the skin or have a seizure.
Important things you need to know
- Use a digital rectal thermometer to take your baby’s temperature as it is the most accurate method to read the temperature in babies.
- Temperature figure does not necessarily indicate the seriousness of the fever. A baby with a 103F temperature may act perfectly normal where as another bay with 102F may be fussy, tired and in constant discomfort.
- Always treat the symptoms of the baby rather than fever or temperature figure. Of course, it is good to control the fever as needed; but the most important thing is to worry about your baby’s behaviour.
- Do not misapprehend heat-stroke with fever. This condition occurs when the body temperature rises to dangerous levels. In such situation, bring down the heat at home and take your baby to a doctor immediately.