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Fever in Babies and Toddlers

Babies and toddlers can cause you to worry a lot in the early years, especially when they have a high temperature. The trick is to not take chances and also to remain calm. It isn’t nice to see your little one uncomfortable but fevers in babies and toddlers are very common.

Fevers in children are a normal response to a virus or bacterial infection, however you can’t risk the temperature creeping up too high.

The normal temperature is 36.4 degrees, anything above that is classed as a temperature.

A high temperature is 38C or more.

May have flushed cheeks, feel hot to touch, fussy and not want to eat or drink.

With a high temperature your child will have flushed cheeks, feel very hot to touch, lethargic, not able to eat or drink and be very sleepy. Often they can be hard to rouse.

When do you see a medical professional?

Babies are especially at risk due to the fact that they are born with little or no immune system. Therefore it is advisable to seek medical attention as soon as possible, even with a mild fever.

Babies under 3 months should be taken to a doctor if they have a high fever or clinically indicated.

If you are concerned at any point about you’re child’s wellbeing then don’t wait at home. It is safer to get them checked out just to be on the safe side.

What causes high temperatures in children?

There are many reasons why children get high temperatures, below is a list of the most common ones:

  • Cold or flu

  • Croup

  • Infection

  • Dehydration

  • Urine infection

  • Ear infection

  • Reaction to a vaccine

  • Meningitis

How to check for a temperature

Best way to check to check your child’s temperature is either in the mouth, under the tongue or in the armpit. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends only using digital thermometers in children. Mercury thermometers should not be used because they pose a risk of mercury exposure and poisoning if they break.

What do do if your baby has a temperature

If your baby has a temperature and is less than 3 months then seek medical attention as soon as possible. For older children try bathing them in lukewarm water so that you can bring their temperature down slowly.

Try and hydrate your child either with water, breastmilk or formula. High temperatures can cause severe dehydration so it is very important to rehydrate. A dehydrated baby may have little or no wet nappies and have no tears when crying.

Medications such as paracetamol or ibuprofen can be given to babies 6 months or older, but please make sure that you speak to a medical professional before you administer any.

Just remember, if you are concerned at all about your babies wellbeing then do not wait to get help.


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