When Fever Strikes – All You Need To Know About Baby Fever

Fevers can be worrisome for parents of infants and toddlers especially when they are first-time parents. The thing about fever is that you can never tell if it is dangerous or not and this is precisely what makes fevers scary for many parents.

Did you know?Lynn Smitherman, M.D., Assistant Professor of Paediatrics has said,  “Fever is not an illness but a sign that the immune system is fighting off an infection.”

Considering this, if a kid has a fever, it is an indication of a good immune system. When viruses or bacteria attack the body, white blood cells produce interleukin to fight them off. The production of interleukin hormone results in a rise in body temperature. The increased body temperature or heat helps in killing the germs attacking the kid’s body.

Causes of Fever

Before we dwell upon the causes, it is essential to understand and remember that fever by itself is not an illness. It is usually a sign or a symptom of another problem. There can be many causes of fever in babies.

Some of the most common causes can be:

Infections: The most common cause of fevers is infections. Fever is the body’s natural defence mechanism against infections.

Vaccinations: A baby might get a fever within 12 hours of getting an injection. This fever is an indication that the vaccine is working. The body produces new antibodies after immunisation. The production of new antibodies is what causes fever post vaccination.

Overdressing: The newborns take a little while to adjust to the temperature in the outside world. Hence it is recommended to dress them in such a way that it keeps them warm. For this, at times, mothers end up overdressing the baby which results in a rise in body temperature.

Teething: When a baby starts teething, the body temperature rises slightly. It stays around 100°F during the teething period. 

When to be concerned?

Before ringing the panic bell, it is essential to understand what is considered a fever. A general notion is that anything above 98.6°F is a fever, but it is not. Body temperature fluctuates throughout the day, and in babies, this fluctuation can have larger variations compared to adults. In healthy babies, a high temperature is not considered fever until it crosses 100.3°F.

For babies under 12 months, you need to keep the following numbers in mind:

Under 3 months: A temperature over 100.3°F in babies under three months need immediate attention. However, if this temperature is because of a vaccine, you don’t need to worry.

3 to 12 months: A temperature over 102.2°F in babies from three to twelve months requires immediate evaluation. The high temperature or the fever might not be considered as an illness, but it can be an indication of an underlying infection or disease.

A timely check and intervention of a paediatric can help in getting rid of the illness or infection at the first stage. You need not to worry even with high temperature if your baby is eating well, is active and is not looking pale. 

How to care for your baby during a fever?

As we have mentioned above – not all fevers are dangerous or need treatment. If the child feels cranky and uncomfortable due to the fever then you might follow the below remedies:

Medicines: Infants under 2 months old should not be given any medication without their paediatrician’s recommendation. Infants over 2 months can be administered with a prescribed medicine as per the dosage recommended by the paediatric. For kids below 10 years, the dosage has to be as per the paediatrician’s recommendation. Medication during high temperature only helps in keeping control over the body temperature.

Home remedies: Make sure that the baby is dressed in light clothing during high temperature. Don’t cover the kid with sheets or blankets. This will only make the temperature rise further. Bathe the baby with lukewarm water or give sponge bath – these are temporary remedies to lower the body temperature.

It is vital to understand that medication or home remedies cannot help in fighting the underlying cause of the fever. Hence, it is always recommended to see a doctor if the temperature lasts more than 48 hours.

 

“My Baby Healthiest” – The Ultimate Goal of A Mother

The weather is changing; the winter is coming and new mothers All Over the World know how hard it is to protect yourself and your little one from the flu season. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, most kids catch 8 to 10 colds in their first two years of life. But you know what? It is easy to protect your baby (and yourself) from colds and other such viruses. Follow these simple tips to stay on your goal keep your baby healthy, winter or otherwise!

Breastfeed as long as you can

Don’t be scared if you caught the flu or a nasty cold. You can continue to breastfeed through it all. Your body will send antibodies through your breast milk to your baby. Breast milk will protect your baby by boosting the immune system and many other wonderful activities that keep your baby healthy and thriving! So whatever you do, continue breastfeeding. According to the World Health Organization, breastfeeding until your baby is two years is beneficial for the physical and mental development for your baby.

Stay away from crowds

We know family gatherings or social meetings are important, but for a new-born with a brand new immune system, this is a little tricky. Be selective about where you take your baby. So unless it is fully necessary, taking your new-born to crowded malls, movie theatres or noisy restaurants is to be best avoided. Parks are great for open spaces and fresh air but you need to be alert if the children playing nearby want to come and mollycoddle your new baby.

Only clean hands

Insist on washing hands – not just for the enthusiastic loved ones who want to hold your new baby, but also you. If you are the primary caretaker, you have to wash your hands particularly after changing a diaper or preparing the bottle. If you have an older child, teach them manners about washing hands before touching and playing tenderly with your new baby. More tips for your toddler or the older sibling in the house:

  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or into the elbow.
  • Wash hands immediately after coming home from school or playing outside.
  • Change outside clothes into home clothes.
  • Send home the sick neighbour kid who wants to play with your children.

Get more sun and exercise

Keeping yourself and your new-born cooped up at home is not healthy for either of you. Go on strolls around the society or visit parks with your new-born to get fresh air and the sun! The sunlight is great for your bodies, specifically during the cold winter days. So along with the vitamin D supplements, make sure you also get the real sun for a little while every day. Getting out of the house and getting the exercise is good for you too. Studies have shown that exercise helps remedy postpartum depression, uplifts your mood, and appetite too. This is very important because a healthy baby needs a healthy mother too.

Wear your baby

If you have to go out to the hospital, to the grocery store, travel in cabs or to go out to the park for your walks, try babywearing. This is a healthy way to bond with your baby too. In winters, babywearing helps you both to keep warm while you snuggle together in a safe baby carrier. Just make sure your baby’s legs are in an M position and not dangling straight down in 11 position. The dangling legs will put pressure on the baby’s spine and on your shoulders. The M position of the baby’s legs distributes the weight and keeps your baby in a comfortable sitting position.

Essential oil on clothes

Essential oils of eucalyptus and cinnamon are just fantastic to keep away colds or to treat stuffy colds fast. You have to remember NEVER use essential oils directly on the baby’s skin. These are remarkably concentrated oils and applying it on the skin can have harsh repercussions for your baby’s health. Apply few drops on the pillows and the baby’s clothes if your baby has a cold.

“My baby healthiest” – the absolute goal of a mother is perfectly achievable.