All your paediatric questions answered
All the information in this section has been provided by:
Dr Sanjay J Rao [Consultant Paediatrician]
Child Care Clinic
2013 100Ft Rd Indiranagar Bangalore 560008 Tel: 91 80 5767 8757/2526 7085
Everything you need to know about FEVER….. as a Parent
What is a fever?
· Normal body temperature is 98.6°F,but children and infants can have a slightly higher normal temperature. Temperature over 100°F (37.8°C) represents fever. A fever is considered a ‘high fever’ when the temperature is above 104°F (40°C)
· Remember: Fever is beneficial to your child. It helps fight infections.
How should you measure your baby’s temperature?
There are 3 ways you can measure the temperature of your baby
What causes a fever?
· Fever can be the result of too much clothing, overexertion or dehydration. It can also be a sign of infection or a reaction to certain immunizations
· Many high fevers are caused by infections that are not serious .If your child is alert and active and playing— don’t worry.
Is there any permanent damage when a child runs a very high fever and has convulsions?
· Febrile convulsions are common.2 % to 4 % of all children have one or more episodes by the age of seven.
· They are not associated with damage to the nervous system.
· Children ‘outgrow’ febrile convulsions by the age of 5 – 7 years.
What should you do when your child has a fever?
· Encourage your child to drink extra fluids like coconut water, apple juice, weak tea with sugar, etc. Body fluids are lost during fevers because of sweating.
· Clothing should be kept to a minimum because most heat is lost through the skin. Do not bundle up your child.
· Medication: Give the correct dosage for your child’s age. Repeated dosages of the drugs may be necessary. Discuss the medication with your child’s pediatrician in advance during a visit to his clinic.
· Sponging : Sponge immediately in heat stroke, febrile convulsions and fever over 105°F
When should you call your doctor?
· Fever present more than 48 hours.
· Fever over 104°F (40° C) which does not subside or returns after medication.
· Fever plus earache or other localized pain ( i.e. abdomen )
· Fever plus urinary symptoms (such as pain with urination or lack of urination).
· Fever plus persistent vomiting or diarrhea, especially in an infant.
· Fever plus stiff neck.
· If your child appears to be extremely sick, is upset and inconsolable, cries when touched or moved or is difficult to wake up the child.
· Fever in an infant less than 3 months of age.
· When in doubt about whether to call, go ahead and call.