Infant fever: 6 first aid gestures before arrival at the hospital
Your baby wakes up with red cheeks, his skin radiates heat. You take its temperature with a digital rectal thermometer, and it reads 37.7 ° C. Is it time to take medicine or call the doctor? Probably not. Technically, it does not even qualify for fever. Rectal temperature below 38 ° C is considered normal, even in the youngest age group. So, unless the rectal thermometer does not exceed 38 ° C or higher, you can consider your little one without fever.
1) Take the rectal temperature: Only a rectal thermometer gives a true core temperature. Other types of thermometers may read too low or too high. So not using a digital rectal thermometer may cause you to run out of fever or cause extra stress and lead to unnecessary emergency room visits.
2) Check the baby’s clothes: “Heat stroke” is sometimes mistaken for fever. This condition occurs when body temperature rises to dangerous levels. When it’s hot, dress your baby in light, loose clothes and never leave him in a closed car, even for a minute.
3) Bathing: Use a slightly warm water (29 to 30 degrees Celsius) to wipe your baby’s skin, especially the forehead and underarms. This home remedy can be surprisingly effective.
4) Increase the amount of breast milk: Another way to help your baby feel better is to keep him hydrated. So offer him a lot of breast milk or formula.
5) Be calm and recheck the temperature: When you rock your warm baby in your arms and the anxiety begins to seep in, try to remember that the fever is actually a sign that his immune system is working properly. Of course, it is important to call the doctor, but the vast majority of babies with fevers recover very well. Whether it is a viral or bacterial infection, or a side effect of immunization, a rising temperature is a natural immune response. So make sure your baby’s immune system does exactly what it’s supposed to do.
6) Use drugs wisely: Drugs such as ibuprofen (for babies 6 months and older) and Paracetamol temporarily reduce fever and may help relieve discomfort. But before using them, try to reduce the temperature of your baby with a sponge bath. It can also help to dress your baby with light clothing and to keep the environment comfortably. For example, if the room is hot and stuffy, use a fan to keep the air moving.
Note: Do not administer medication to a baby under 3 months of age without the approval of a doctor. Follow these important safety instructions every time you give your baby a fever reducer:
- If your child is under 2 years old, consult your paediatrician or pharmacist for the correct dose.
- If your baby is between 3 and 6 months old, you can give him paracetamol but not ibuprofen.
- By the age of 6 months, most babies can have either paracetamol or ibuprofen.
- The dosage is determined by the weight of your baby, not by his age.
- Do not give your child aspirin because it has been associated with Reyes Syndrome, a rare but serious (and sometimes fatal) condition.
When to call the doctor or go to the hospital
If first aid methods do not lower the temperature, make sure your baby gets the medical care they need by going to the hospital immediately if:
- Your baby is less than 3 months old and has a rectal temperature of 38 ° C or higher.
- Your baby is under 2 years old and his fever lasts more than 24 hours.
- Your child is 2 years old or older and his fever lasts more than 3 days.
- Your child’s fever rises several times above 40 ° C, regardless of age.