A fever is a common symptom of many illnesses in children. It can be due to the common cold, the flu, bronchitis, pneumonia, a urinary tract infection, or, worse, the COVID-19 virus. But it can also be caused by an allergy attack triggered by pollen, pet dander, or the food you eat. The best way to reduce your baby’s fever is to keep giving them fluids because dehydration can make the fever worse. You should also bring down their temperature by removing their clothes and bundling them up in a lightweight blanket.
Here are the things that you should do when your child has a fever:
- Take COVID-19 precautions
COVID-19 can be contracted by touching an infected person or by exposure to the mucus they emit when coughing. It is best if you keep your child away from potentially infected individuals. Keep them inside the house until they have been cleared of the virus by a professional doctor who has administered a COVID-19 vaccine.
- Take their temperature with a thermometer.
You should take your baby’s temperature by using a thermometer for babies that is small enough to fit in their mouth or under their armpit. Put it under their armpit every 5 minutes for 10 minutes and then check if it is normal or not. Doing this can help you monitor their temperature.
- Take them to a medical care facility.
When your child has a fever, the best thing to do is take them to a medical care facility. A fever can be a sign of a more serious illness, such as the flu, bronchitis, pneumonia, or even a urinary tract infection. So it’s important to get them checked out by a doctor, especially if the fever doesn’t subside after three days.
Some emergency rooms might be overloaded these days due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So if your hospital has a long line of people waiting for service, consider going to an urgent care facility. These facilities often have shorter wait times and aren’t understaffed than hospitals. That means you can get seen by a medical professional sooner.
- Keep an eye out for signs of dehydration.
Signs that your child is dehydrated include frequent urination, dry mouth, and sunken eyes. If they’re not drinking fluids, they’re at greater risk of dehydration. Dehydration is especially dangerous for infants under six months old because it can reduce the flow of breast milk or formula.
If you notice that your baby’s diapers aren’t as “wet” as usual, you should give them more fluid. Breast milk is always best to hydrate them with because it’s easier to digest than formula. But if you must use bottled water or formula, make sure to check the expiration date. You should keep it in the fridge and use it within a week of opening the container.
- Give them lots of liquids like water and broth.
The best way to bring down your baby’s fever is by feeding them right and giving them lots of liquids, preferably water. If they’re too young to drink plain water, you can also give them broth. But make sure to dilute it with water before giving it to your baby.
Broth can be overpowering and can make your baby feel nauseated. If that happens, try substituting the broth with chamomile tea or apple juice. These liquids are milder, so they often win over your baby’s taste buds.
- Remove their clothes and put them in a light blanket.
Since your baby is probably feeling hot and uncomfortable with their elevated temperature, you should remove their clothes. Put them in a light blanket instead to keep them from getting too hot. You can also put a fan in their room if it doesn’t bother your baby.
You should also try to keep them indoors because outdoor weather conditions can aggravate your baby’s fever. For example, cold and dry air from the winter outside could worsen their fever.
- Avoid offering them any heavy or rich foods.
If your baby is teething, their mouth might feel sore. In this case, they could reject cold or rich foods, like meatballs or bananas. Instead, try offering them foods that don’t need a lot of chewing, like soup, toast, or yogurt. Yogurt can also help replenish nutrients in your child’s body because it contains calcium, vitamin D, iron, and protein. It can also restore the good bacteria that your baby needs to fight off viruses and infections.
- Keep your home cool and comfortable.
If your home is too hot or stuffy, you should open all the windows and let air circulate throughout. Keep them as cool as possible by using a fan in the bedroom. It would be best if you also put them under a light blanket to keep their temperature down.
The ideal temperature should be between 67 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit (19 to 22 Celsius), so it should be cooler than the average room temperature. This is because your baby’s body can’t regulate its temperature as well as an adult’s. This means that a room between 68 and 70 F (20 C) is often the best choice for your baby’s bedroom.
- Give them medication.
Offer them acetaminophen (if they are below age two) or ibuprofen to bring down the fever. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), these medications are safe for infants six months and older. If they’re under six months, call your pediatrician before giving them any medication to see if it’s safe for their age.
Fever can be an indication of many different illnesses in children. These can be viral, bacterial, or even environmental. But the key takeaway from this article is to find ways to keep your baby’s core temperature down and seek immediate medical care as soon as possible.