Fever can be a very frustrating experience for a person especially when it affects the kids at home.
It is not an illness rather it is the body’s natural way of alerting you and fighting off an incoming sickness triggered by an infection.
The increase in normal body temperature is known as pyrexia(fever). Regulation of the body temperature is maintained by the hypothalamus(part of the brain), when there is an exposure to an illness or infection, the hypothalamus regulates the body and produces an elevated body temperature.
Although there are lots of uncomfortable and unpleasant feelings that might accompany a fever, it is not exactly a bad thing.
It is a sign that the immune system is functioning properly, the immune system is our defense mechanism against infections and fever is one of the defense strategy put in place by our body.
CAUSES OF FEVER
There are several causative agents that activate fever but the most common are infections.
Teething in infants
UTIs (urinary tract infection)
Symptoms of fever
Fatigue and weakness
Loss of appetite
Symptoms of high fever
Causes of high fever
Bacterial, viral and fungal infections.
Infants, Toddlers, and Fever
Watching your child wriggle in pain, roll around the bed uncomfortably while whimpering is not a sight any parent would love to see but this occasionally occurs when your child is down with a fever.
If you suspect that your child has a fever, you have to confirm your assumption by using a recommended thermometer to ascertain his/her temperature.
Causes of fever in children
Viral and bacterial infections.
Home remedies for children
Kids younger than a month old could be admitted to the hospital for professional handling and treatment.
Keep your child hydrated
While experiencing a fever, body fluid can be lost through sweating so it is of great importance that you replenish the lost nutrients. Drinking lots of fluid also helps in regulating the body temperature. Juice(lemon and honey,) water, milk, tea are good choices of fluid to give your child.
Prepare a warm bath for your kids you can add ginger powder to the bath as it helps in sweating and has antibacterial properties.
Keep your child in a well ventilated and aired room in order to bring down the body’s temperature.
Administer acetaminophen or ibuprofen based on the prescription of the doctor to your child. Carefully read the leaflet attached to the medication to make sure you administer the right dosage or consult your pediatrician. Be sure to confirm from your pediatrician if the medication is suited for your child’s age.
Aspirin is not recommended for children as there is a link to Reye syndrome.
Take off those extra layers of cloth, make sure your child is dressed in lightweight cloth as over bundling can lead to fever.
Ensure that your child gets enough sleep, if your child can’t sleep you should consult your pediatrician.
When to see a doctor
If your child of 3months old has a fever above 100.4°F(38°C)
You should see a doctor if an infant of 3 -6 months has a fever above 102°F(38.9°C)
OTC(over the counter medication) can be administered to children between 6months- 2years with a fever above 102°C. Medication should be given based on the doctor’s prescription.
Note: dosage is dependent on the weight of the baby.
If your child has a seizure(febrile seizure).
You should consult your doctor if your baby is fussy and cries continually.
If your child refuses to take any fluid.
If the symptoms get worse, you should definitely call your doctor.
Thermometer for Children
This is an instrument used for taking temperature, it shows the degree of hotness or coldness of a particular thing, person a place.
The pediatrician recommends the digital thermometer over the mercury glass thermometer(mercury glass is said to contain toxin).
A temporal artery thermometer(placed on the forehead) or a rectal thermometer (temperature is taken through the rectum) has been recommended by most pediatricians as the best thermometer for infants and toddlers.
How to break a fever in an adult
The first step that should be taken towards breaking a fever in an adult is to find out the exact body temperature. The normal body temperature is about 97°- 99°F therefore anything higher than this could be a mild or severe fever. Use a digital thermometer to take your body’s temperature.
Drinking plenty of water& juice is really important, as the body loses lots of fluids through sweating. If you can’t handle drinking anything, you can stay hydrated by licking ice cubes.
Ginger contains antibacterial properties, it helps to combat fever and other related symptoms such as cold, chills. Drink tea rich in ginger or elderflower.
The body temperature can be elevated by certain activities.
Make sure you spend time sleeping and resting as this will give your body the energy it requires to fight off the infection.
Tylenol (Acetaminophen) and Advil(ibuprofen) are over the counter (OTC) nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs(NSAIDs) that help to reduce fever.
Read the drug leaflet for the right dosage.
Take a bath with Lukewarm water, as cold water might cause blood to flow into the internal organs leading to a rise in the body’s temperature.
Stay in a cool and well-ventilated room and put on lightweight clothing.
Soak a thin cotton sock in water, wear it and put a thick woolly sock over it. Do this before taking a nap.
When to see a doctor
If the fever is above 103.4 and you aren’t responding to treatment, you should consult your doctor.
If there are rashes present on your skin.
Extreme coughing and vomiting.
Fever with Chills
A sudden feeling of cold which usually occurs with a fever is known as chills.
Causes of chills
Gastroenteritis (virus & bacteria)
Treating chills in adults/ children
It’s quite the same as treatment a fever;
Lukewarm bath, OTC medication (consult a doctor for proper dosage), lightweight clothing are also important.
If fever and chills persist after 2 days and the following symptoms are present, you should call your doctor
How long does it take a fever to break?
how to break a fever at home; The cause of a fever determines how long the fever lasts.
Fever caused by a bacteria can last until it is treated with an antibiotic while fever caused by a virus can last for some days or few weeks.