An infant with a high fever is a common cause for anxiety in parents, often compelling them to call a pediatrician in Westminster for guidance. If your baby is having his first fever, know that the fever—in and of itself—is not your primary cause for concern because it is simply the body’s way of dealing with infection.
Why babies develop fever
Dr. Lingam, author of The Complete book of Child Health, states that a rise in your baby’s body temperature can be attributed to white blood cell activity. To fight off infection, these cells produce pyrogen, a substance that stimulates the hypothalamus or the section of the brain that regulates hormone production and body temperature. When the hypothalamus is stimulated, the set point of the thermoregulatory center is subsequently raised, causing body temperature to rise by a few degrees. This function of the body helps to kill or limit bacteria or viruses that are sensitive to temperature changes.
How to bring down a baby’s fever at home
To bring down your baby’s fever, give him the recommended dose of paracetamol. However, take note that babies younger than a month should not be given paracetamol. After that, gently sponge his face, neck, arms and legs with tepid water. Continue sponging for 30 minutes and allow the skin to dry naturally, then take the temperature again.
When to worry
According to BabyCenter.com, these symptoms should prompt you to call your pediatrician
- Is younger than 3 months old and has a fever of 100.4 degrees F (38 degrees C) or higher. A fever in a baby this young may indicate serious infection or disease.
- Is between 3 and 6 months old and has a fever of 101 degrees F (38.3 degrees C) or higher.
- Is 6 months or older and has a fever of 103 degrees F (39.4 degrees C) or higher.
- Develops a cough that is not improving after a week.
- Seems to have an earache. (She may pull on her ear and fuss.)
- Is wheezing or seems to be working harder than usual to breathe.
- Becomes sick again soon after bouncing back from the flu. (She may have a secondary infection that needs to be treated.)
- Shows any signs of dehydration.
As a parent, your instincts will tell you if there is something wrong with the health of your child. If in doubt, take him to a trusted Westminster pediatrician who can give him the medical attention he needs.
(Source: Flu in babies, BabyCenter)