As a first-time parent, it can be confusing and frightening when your child has their first high temperature.
That's why we think it is really important to have a check-list of all the things you should do if you believe your baby has a fever. Dr Sinead Beirne is a family GP - she has teamed up with the Nurofen for Children #FeverFighters campaign to give parents the correct information to handle their baby's temperature.
So next time you feel that hot little body beside yours fighting a little infection, you will be better equipped to deal with the situation.
1. Know what constitutes a temperature
Your baby’s normal temperature range is between 36°C – 36.8°C. A fever is seen as a temperature of 38°C or above on more than one consecutive reading.
2. Know how to dress them
Children with high temperatures should not be either under dressed or over wrapped. Do not use a cool cloth or sponge to get their temperature down.
3. Medicate at home
You can usually medicate your baby effectively at home. Ibuprofen can be given to babies over 3 months and weighing over 5kgs and can be given every 6-8 hours up to 3 times a day. Paracetamol can be used from 2 months and can be given every 4-6 hours up to 4 times a day. But remember, parents should always read the label of any medicine before giving it to their children.
4. Hydration is key
Keep the baby well hydrated with fluids. If they have been vomiting you need to rehydrate slowly. A tip I usually tell parents is to give a teaspoon of fluid for every commercial break if you've got the TV on. Ice pops can be helpful too as well as ice cream!
5. Sleep Patterns
Try not to bundle your baby up in blankets or extra clothes at bedtime, as you don't want to increase the body temperature. I suggest using a baby sleep bag and just one layer of light clothing, like a vest.
6. Seeking help
If your baby is under 3 months and has a definite temperature you should make arrangements to see a doctor. If your baby is over 3 months and their temperature stays above 38.5°C despite treatment; or rises to 39°C-40°C and if a fever lasts longer than 2 days, you should make arrangements to see your doctor.
Remember, most temperatures can be managed safely at home. However, your child should see a doctor if they have a spreading rash, headache, poor colour, limping, stiff neck or a reaction to bright light. It can be a scary time but remember that you know best for your little one. Follow that gut instinct and never be afraid to seek help and advice if your little one is unwell.
Share with anyone who you think would appreciate this useful information!
Disclaimer: Dr. Sinead Beirne does not endorse any brand.
These Fever Fighter tips were brought to you by Nurofen for Children.
Nurofen for Children Strawberry/Orange 100mg/5ml Oral Suspension. Contain ibuprofen. Suitable from 3 months and weighing over 5 kg. Nurofen for Children is indicated for the short term symptomatic treatment of pain and fever.
If your child’s symptoms persist for more than 3 days, if pain or fever worsen or if new symptoms occur, consult your doctor/pharmacist straight away.
ALWAYS READ THE LABEL.
Date of prep: Feb 2018