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Fever in Children


2023-01-02 : sreemanjuhospitals

Every child experiences a fever once in a while. In most cases, a fever is harmless and even beneficial because it indicates that the body is actively battling an infection.

Most medical professionals define a fever as a rectally measured temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or above.

The body uses several mechanisms to keep its internal temperature regular. The brain, skin, muscles, and blood vessels are among the organs that assist in controlling body temperature. The body reacts to temperature fluctuations by:

· Increasing or decreasing sweat production

· Moving blood away from the surface of the skin

· Seeking a cooler or warmer environment

The body regulates temperature similarly when your child has a fever. However, it has momentarily raised the temperature on its thermostat. There are several causes for the temperature rise.

• The body produces chemicals known as cytokines and mediators in reaction to an invasion by a bacterium, cancer, or another intruder.

• The body is producing more macrophages. When invaders are present in the body, these cells fight. The invader is literally "eaten up" by these cells.

• The body is working hard to produce antibodies that naturally fight illness. The virus will be recognized by these antibodies the next time it tries to enter.

• A membrane that resembles an overcoat encloses a lot of germs. The fluids that leak out when this membrane is damaged or ruptured may harm the body. They cause the brain to heat up as a result of the stimulation.

What conditions can cause a fever?

It's critical to remember that a fever is typically a sign or symptom of another issue rather than a sickness in and of itself.

Several things might produce fevers, including:

Infection: Infections and other illnesses are the main causes of fevers. By triggering the body's defense mechanisms, a fever aids in the body's ability to fight infections.

Overdressing: Because they can't regulate their body temperature as effectively as older children can, infants, especially newborns, may develop fevers if they are over-bundled or in a warm environment. However, even infants who are overdressed must be evaluated by a doctor if they have a fever because fevers in newborns might signify a dangerous infection.

Immunizations: Infants and children may experience a low-grade fever after receiving a shot.

Although teething may produce a minor increase in body temperature, if a child's temperature exceeds 100°F (37.8°C), it is probably not the result. 

When Is a Fever a Sign of Something Serious Illness?

Not every fever in children in good health needs to be treated. However, a high fever can make a youngster uncomfortable and exacerbate issues (like dehydration).

Doctors weigh a child's overall health and temperature when determining whether to treat a fever.

Unless they are in pain, children with temperatures below 102°F (38.9°C) frequently don't need treatment. One crucial exception: If a baby three months old or less has a rectal temperature of at least 100.4°F (38°C), call your doctor or head to the emergency room immediately. Even a mild fever may indicate a potentially dangerous infection in extremely young babies.

Call your doctor if your child is between 3 months and three years old and has a fever of 102.2°F (39°C) or higher. Consider the behavior and activity level of older children. You can usually tell from your child's behavior if a minor illness is the root of the problem or whether your child needs to see a doctor.

The illness may not be serious if your child:

  • is still interested in playing
  • is eating and drinking well
  • is alert and smiling at you
  • has a normal skin color

Additionally, it would be best if you weren't overly concerned about a feverish toddler who refuses to eat. With fever-producing illnesses, this happens frequently. It's acceptable for kids who can still drink and urinate (pee) normally to eat less than usual.

Often, all it takes to alert you to your child's fever is a gentle kiss on the forehead or a touch lightly put on the skin. However, this technique (known as tactile temperature) will only provide an accurate reading.

To be sure you have a fever, use a reliable digital thermometer. When a child's temperature reaches one of these values, it is considered a fever:

  • measured orally : 100°F (37.8°C)
  • measured rectally : 100.4°F (38°C)
  • measured in an axillary position (under the arm): 99°F (37.2°C)

However, a child's temperature level doesn't necessarily indicate how ill they are. A fever in the range of 102°-104°F/38.9°-40°C can occasionally be brought on by a common cold or other viral infection, but this doesn't always indicate a dangerous condition. A severe infection, particularly in young children, may not even result in a fever but rather a low body temperature (below 97°F or 36.1°C).

Youngsters may experience chills when their body temperature increases because fevers can climb and dip. The youngster may sweat to expel additional heat as the temperature begins to fall.

Children with a fever might breathe more quickly than usual and beat more quickly. And if your kid is having problems breathing, is breathing more quickly than usual, or continues to breathe quickly even after the fever has subsided, call the doctor.

What are the benefits of a fever?

A fever is not a disease. It is a symptom or indication that your body is battling an infection or illness. The body's defenses are triggered by fever, sending white blood cells and other "fighter" cells to battle and eradicate the infection's root cause. What are the symptoms that my child may have a fever?

As the temperature rises, children with fevers may become increasingly uncomfortable. Symptoms may include: A body temperature higher than 100.4°F (38°C), as well as:

• Your child might not be as animated or chatty as normal.

• Your youngster might appear fussier, thirstier, and less hungry.

• Your youngster might experience heat or warmth. Remember that even though your child may seem "heating up," the temperature may not actually be that high.

The signs of fever can resemble those of other illnesses. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends immediately calling your kid's healthcare physician if your child is younger than three months old and has a temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher. Always get a diagnosis from your child's medical professional if you are unsure.

When should a fever be treated?

A fever that is causing discomfort in youngsters should be handled. The body cannot cure the illness any faster by treating your child's fever. It will merely ease the discomfort brought on by the fever. Fever can cause seizures in children between 6 months and five years (called febrile seizures). There is a possibility that your child will experience another febrile seizure if one does take place. However, most kids outgrow febrile seizures. A febrile seizure can occur in a child without epilepsy. No proof taking care of the fever can lessen the chance of a febrile seizure.

What can I do to minimize my child's fever?

You can give your youngster an anti-fever medication, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. DO NOT give aspirin to your youngster. It is connected to Reye syndrome, a severe condition that can be fatal.

In addition, you can:

• Dress your child in simple clothing. The temperature will rise because of too much clothing trapping body heat.

• Encourage your youngster to consume plenty of liquids, such as juice, popsicles, or water.

• Bathe your youngster in lukewarm water. Do not let your child shiver in the chilly water. The body temperature might be raised as a result. In the bathtub, you should never leave your kids unattended.

• Avoid taking alcohol-based baths.

When should I call my child's healthcare provider?

Call the healthcare provider immediately if your kid is three months or younger and has a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher unless your child's healthcare provider instructs you differently. Seek immediate medical attention. A serious infection may be the cause of a young baby's fever.

• Your child, regardless of age, frequently develops fevers exceeding 104°F (40°C).

• Your youngster is under the age of two and has a fever of greater than 100.4°F (38°C) for more than a day.

• Your youngster is two years or older and has had a fever of 100.4 °F (38 °C) for more than three days.

• Your infant is uncontrollably fussy or crying.

Why choose us:

One of the top medical facilities, Sree Manju Hospitals, offers top-notch care in various disciplines. We use the most advanced diagnostic and therapeutic techniques while keeping our patients' needs in mind. We consistently uphold the highest standards of excellence. Our healthcare facility uses the most cut