Raised Temperature (Fever)
This is a temperature of >38ºC, anything above 39ºC might indicate something more serious. Any baby under 3 months old with a raised temperature should be seen by a doctor or A&E department.
Fever can be caused by a number of things:
- Viral illness (usually self limiting, resolves itself in a matter of days)
- bBcterial illness such as UTI urinary tract infection, RTI respiratory tract infection, or something serious like meningitis or septicaemia
- Febrile convulsions can occur, but children usually grow out of these.
For viral illnesses that are usually self limiting, parents needn’t worry. On average a child will have 8 such episodes in the first 18months of life, particularly if exposed to a lot of other children (childcare).
- Plenty of fluids
- Allow child to cool down, but not to shiver. Have the child dressed in layers of clothing that a layer can be removed if necessary. Do not allow the child to get cold or shiver ass the body’s internal temperature regulator (hypothalamus) will try to overcompensate and may push the temperature higher.
- Paracetamol (Calpol®) may be helpful – always check thee correct dose for the age of the child, can be dangerous if wrong dose given
- Ibuprofen (Nurofen®) may also help
- Check a feverish child through the night – in case the temperature rises/spikes through the night
It may be difficult to judge whether an illness is more serious requiring medical attention. If your baby has any of the following symptoms there may be a serious illness:
- A high pitched or weak cry, is less responsive, is much less active or more floppy than usual.
- Looks very pale all over, grunts with each breath, has obvious dips in the upper tummy or between the ribs as he or she breaths.
- Takes less than a third of usual fluids, passes much less urine than usual, vomits green fluids, or passes blood in the nappy. Infants should have at least three wet nappies a per day (24 hour period).
- Has a high fever with sweating.
Seek medical advice early and quickly
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