I can say that I had experienced so many times&kinds of fever in 3-years Max's life. And each of them are never the same kind in terms of the cause, the panics, the signs, the after-effects and the period, only one thing is the same: They are scary! The fact that M is the one whose very sensitive of getting seizure. But here’s 7 things we should know about fever in children before you decide to visit your doctor:
Fever is not illness, it’s a positive natural reaction of immune system fighting on infection.
The higher the fever, the greater the infection, the bigger the battle is. Below are some kind of infections/circumtances that can cause children’s fever in general:
- cold/flu, is the most common cause of fever, and the fastest to end too.
- immunisation, is recognize by our body as foreign object entering our body. Therefore our body will automatically try to fight it.
- teething, normally just a slight fever due to uncomfortable feeling they had.
- bronchitis, when kids had a phlegm cough. Fever may strike in due to breathing problem or feeling tired, it can be worsen if they also lost their appetite.
- sinus infection, will attack the nose and the throat, and it can be very uncomfortable to the extent of causing fever.
- viral infection, can come in many forms of uncomfortable situation such as cough, runny nose, diarrhea, vomitting and headache that spreads over the air.
- bacterial infection, can be catch from the soil/sand pit, water and air. Although our body has been take many benefits from bacteria(the good ones), bacteria can be harmful too. Most common bacteria infection in kids such as strep throat, ear infections, and unrinary tract infections.
- diarrhea/food poisoning, when you get diarrhea your stomach is fighting over bad/poisoned objects.
- physical injury, as the internal body may exposed to outside world, many foreign object can cause fever.
- post operation, is the moment when our body is adjusting to heal after being exposed to many foreign objects during operation.
- serious illness (cancer, leukemia, lupus, HIV), is the most rare happen in kids
Fever is meant to train your children immune system, the most we can do is try to lower down the temperature.
The best way to deal with fever is with natural remedy and to keep them as comfortable as possible, you can try:
- sponge their head, neck, armpit, back, and groin with wet cloth, or give them a bath if necessary (with luke warm/room temperature water, never use cold water!).
- dress them up in thin layer of clothings, the idea is to let the heat released instead of trap them in.
- make sure they get enough fluids, proper foods and decent rests.
Fever medication for children (mostly acetaminophen paracetamol or ibuprofen) may not suitable for their age, and they may not works too. Medication will only make your child’s immune system weakened (because they never trained to fight the infection) or worse give a new allergic reaction on their body if we don’t give the right dose.
Different ways to check fever body temperature give different measurement to be considered as fever:
- On the rectum (38.5⁰), with the tip of thermometer within 1-2 cm deep.
- By mouth (38⁰), for children age 3 years and older, place the tip of thermometer under the tongue.
- On underarm (37.5⁰), place the tip of thermometer on the center of the armpit.
- By ear (38⁰), using the thermometer gun.
Just remember that you always use one way of measuring for good comparison.
Some children may get febrile seizure, that may last for less than a minute due to extreme spike fever (it may shows rolled eyes, stiff or shaken body and sometimes moan due to an extremely uncomfortable feeling). However it’s rarely harmful and don’t usually required any medication. Make sure there’s no harmful objects nearby and don’t force anything go into their mouth.
Young children whose once experienced this seizure might get it again whenever they have fever, but it usually subsided once they’re grow older (about 5 years old). And it’s never to determine whether they’ll have a long-term serious health problem (such as epilepsy) when they’re grown up.
When to seek for doctor?
How the child acts is more important than reading their body temperature. It’s good to know that even healthy children had average numbers of 10-12 fever in a year, that means it may happen once every month! (whether it’s a mild, moderate or high fever) as children are very exposed to their new environment and can be very prone to infections (specially the one who started to join pre-school). But as long as they’re still remain as active, there shouldn’t be anything to worry about their fever.
But we should always be cautious with fever in newborn baby as their immune system might not be well developed, so quickly bring them to your doctor.
However you know your children best, if you think that you find some weird symptoms (such as stiff neck, hallucination, trouble breathing/swallowing, cramps, vomiting/diarrhea, urinating problem, last for 5 days or more) you might want to seek your doctor’s opinions.
When they sweat, we know their fever breaks.
After a long fight and somehow their immune system has won the battle, the body will automatically reset the body temperature to normal grade and release the excess heat by evaporating, in which we know it as sweat. But never ever try to force break it, by putting many layers of clothings to make them sweating when their body is still in fever, it may cause overheating instead.
Fever with common rashes.
Some fever comes with rashes (before, during and after). Here are some type of rashes that I know (Max ever experienced some of them too) :
- Urticaria (caused by hives, it's pale red, raised, itchy bumps in cluster of various sizes, may happened during and or after fever)
- Scarlet rash (caused by strep or throat infection, it's red streaks, tiny itchy bumps like sandpaper, may happen during and or after fever)
- Roseola (often caused by viral infection, it's pinkish red-flat or raised bumps that turn into white when we press them, happen after fever breaks specially the one with febrile seizure)
- Varicella/chicken pox (caused by virus, it's itchy rash/spots looks like blister, happened during the fever, highly contagious)