When your infant is having fever, things are tough. Your little one will be very uncomfortable. What do you need to know about infant fever? What can you do to help? This is based on our own experiences. We learnt it the hard way, our infant (10 months old) actually had a high fever of 40.2 degree Celsius. We went to see one of the best pediatricians in Central and spent thousands. I would like to share his advice with you.
What do you need to know about infant’s high fever?
Infant fever is normal…
First of all, having fever is normal for all children. And, it is actually a good sign. Usually, the main culprit for children’s fever is viral infection and in some special cases, a bacterial infection. But fever means your baby’s body is fighting off an infection and building antibodies against the virus. Of course, a fever can also be an early symptom of a possible underlying issue. Or simply a reaction to a vaccination. An infant has not been exposed to many different types of virus out there. Hence every time they get in contact with a new virus, they are more vulnerable to get fever as a result of their developing immune system. But remember, this is a good sign.
Temperature is just a number…
We got really worried as our infant’s temperature actually reached 40.2 degree Celsius hence we went directly to a specialist pediatrician. However, according to Dr.C, temperature is really just a number. Most importantly, observe your child’s behavior. After the infant takes the medication, the temperature will go down. When the temperature’s down, they should feel more comfortable and hence return to their active self. It is normal that your child will feel tired, sleepy and lose their appetite when they are having high body temperature. However, if they are lethargic all the time / temperature doesn’t go down despite medication, then it’s not normal at all, seek for urgent medical help.
What can you do to help your infant to feel more comfortable?
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Continue to use a fever patch…
A fever patch is a patch that you can attach on the baby’s forehead and has a cooling gel to provide relief to the baby. We are using the Japanese Koolfever brand. It’s really affordable and easily available at Manning’s / Watsons pharmacy. The gel helps to prevent babies from overheating with their cooling properties. For best results, I suggest you keep them in the fridge and change them every couple of hours when the gel feels warm to touch. If you don’t have a fever patch, just sponge them or use a damp cloth.
Take medication regularly…
The pediatrician prescribed two medications to us. The first one is Nurofen for children ( Ibuprofen 100mg / 5ml ). We were instructed to only take this when the temperature is higher than 38.5 degree celsius. Take the Nurofen 2.5ml orally every 6 hours after meals. The other medication was Dhamol Suspension ( Paracetamol 50mg / ml). If the temperature goes above 37.8 degree celcius, take Dhamol Suspension 2.5ml orally every 4 hours. Follow the timing as precisely as you can, as this will help to control your infant’s body temperature.
P.S This medicine prescription is based on my child’s condition after my pediatrician’s diagnosis. Do not take lightly the matter of feeding medicine to your child as the incorrect dosage can have very bad consequences. Please seek professional medical advice for your own child.
Feeding your infant…
The most important thing you must do is to keep your baby hydrated. The best way you can help with this is continue to breastfeed your baby. The breast milk contains antibodies that can help to fight the virus infection. Apart from that, feed your baby light meals. Easily digestible, not too fatty or oily. Doctor suggests porridge or chicken soup. Remember to not force your baby if they don’t have any appetite. It will only make them feel worse. Take the opportunity when the baby’s temperature is down, that’s when they are more like their usual self, feed them a little food.
Keep the environment comfortable…
It is very important to maintain a moderate temperature in the room. Keep the temperature as normal as possible i.e not too hot nor too cold. Dress your baby in light clothing. Do not layer them up, you may read somewhere that by layering up and sweat, the fever will cool down. Instead, it can make it harder to reduce the body temperature. Unless your baby is shivering and has chills, otherwise keep their clothing light and comfortable.
Make sure you have a proper thermometer to take your child’s temperature. A digital one is always the best, personally we are using Braun thermometer 7 with age precision. It comes with a color alert for specific age groups for the most accurate reading. It’s important to be able to take an accurate reading of your baby’s temperature to keep track of it. As a parent, you can only let the fever run it’s course. In the meantime, do what you can to help your child feel better. It can be tough to see your baby suffer. Remember it’s for the best, your baby is building immunity and fighting against the virus!
While I hope this article provides some insight to you on handling infant high fever, please also get your baby to seek professional medical help immediately, as every baby’s condition is different. Please check here for more parenting articles.
Parenting pain : Unfortunately, this is not going to be the last time your child will get fever. It’s probably just the beginning. Equip yourself with proper knowledge and proper tools at home to help your child get through the fever.
Featured image photo credit by Tim Bish on Unsplash (2016)