Fever in Babies: A Parent’s Guide & Treatment Tips
Getting a fever is an incredibly frightening experience for any parent – especially if it happens to your baby. High temperatures often signal that your little one is experiencing a health issue and it can be intimidating to try and figure out the best course of action. To help you navigate this situation and make the best decision for your baby, here is a parent’s guide to fevers in babies and recommended treatment tips.
What classifies as a fever in babies?
Fever is any temperature over 100.4F and is often a sign of infection or illness. A fever puts a child at risk of dehydration and nutrient loss, so it is important to take prompt action and contact your doctor if your baby shows signs of a fever.
What should parents do if they think their baby has a fever?
If you are feeling unsure if your baby has a fever, the best course of action is to use a digital thermometer. Make sure the room is at a normal temperature and keep your baby as still as possible. Place the tip of the thermometer under your baby’s arm, hold for a few seconds then check the readings. If your little one does indeed have a low-grade fever, you should not give them any medication and instead, assess the situation further and contact your doctor for advice.
Treatment tips for fevers in babies
Once you know if your baby has a fever, it is essential to take the necessary steps to get their temperature down and ensure their wellbeing:
- Cool sponge baths: A cool sponge bath is a safe and effective way to get your baby’s fever down. Soak a soft cloth or sponge in lukewarm water, wring out any excess liquid, and then gently wipe your baby’s entire body. This will help regulate their temperature.
- Light clothing: Make sure your baby is wearing light and breathable clothing to encourage sweat and heat loss. You may also drape a light sheet over your baby’s crib to provide some extra comfort and help with the cooling process.
- Giving fluids: It is essential to keep your little one hydrated. Breastmilk is a great way to provide vital fluids and nutrients during a fever. If your baby has difficulty ingesting breastmilk, alternate every few minutes between giving them fluids and sponge baths to get their fever down.
When should I call a doctor for my baby’s fever?
It is important to contact your doctor if your baby has a temperature of 102F or higher, if the temperature does not come down after the above treatment tips are applied, or if your baby appears lethargic or shows any other worrying signs.
The prospect of your baby getting a fever can be overwhelming, but it is important to stay as calm as possible and seek medical advice if needed. Keep in mind that low-grade fevers are a common occurrence in babies and, as long as the situation is monitored and managed accordingly, your little one should make a full recovery.