A baby has a fever if the temperature is over 98 degrees Fahrenheit on an oral thermometer. Generally, do not provide an infant with a fever reducer without consulting a doctor first. When approved by the doctor, there are basic concerns on determining whether to provide the child with a fever reducing medication. A child with a temperature of 100.4 F or higher among children 3 months or younger is considered as a medical emergency.
A fever simply indicates that the immune system of an infant is fighting off an infection. With this in mind, a fever is considered normal and healthy. A low-grade fever up to 100.2 degrees F does not require treatment among infants over 3 months old. Even a fever that is slightly higher among children over 6 months of age does not require treatment. Nevertheless, it is not best to provide an infant with a fever reducer if the low-grade fever is obviously making him/her uncomfortable or disrupting with a sleeping routine. Generally, how sick the baby appears is a vital consideration than the actual number on the thermometer.
Among infants 3-6 months of age, a fever of 101 degrees F is considered high. A fever up to 102 degrees F is considered high as well. Even if the infant does not appear ill, a doctor should be consulted about a high fever. The temperature does not cause discomfort and generally reduced with a fever reducer medication.
Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are suitable for children, but aspirin is not advised. Always follow the instructions given by the doctor. Make sure that the appropriate dosage is based on the weight of the baby, not by the age. Do not provide the child with more than 5 doses of a fever reducer in a 24-hour period and avoid doses more frequently than the packaging.
A fever is not an illness, but a symptom. While a fever reducer lowers the temperature, they do not treat the illness causing the immune system to generate a fever. The medications generally last a few hours while conditions typically take a few days or more to clear up.
The fever can be managed with additional dosage as long as enough time has elapsed since the last dose and have not given more than the maximum number of doses in a day. A doctor should be consulted regarding low-grade fever that lasts for a few days that continues to rise or does not drops.
Alternatives and accompanying remedies
You cannot attempt to reduce the low-grade fever with measures other than medications and utilize these methods along with a fever reducer for high fever. Avoid dressing the infant with more than a diaper.
Avoid bundling the child if he/she appears cold. Dress the child in cotton pajamas or cover him/her in a lightweight blanket made of a breathable material. Try to keep the temperature of the environment in between 70-74 degrees F.
Rub down the infant with a washcloth immersed in lukewarm water or give him/her a lukewarm bath. Avoid using cold water, iced-down water or even alcohol since these brings down the temperature down too quickly. Ice pops, cold fluids or frozen fruit juices can help and suitable in preventing dehydration.