The best Ways to Break a Babys Fever

Fevers in infants can be caused by a number of ailments. In rare cases they can be a sign of bacteria in the infants’ blood stream. Although opposing view points exist as to fever being attributed to teething, many family doctors and parents believe teething can cause a baby to feel “hot” or “warm”.

A slew of vaccinations have been known to cause fever, specifically the DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pneumonia) vaccine.  More commonly fever in an infant is a sign of a virus. Most viruses will pass in a few hours and may produce no bacterial infections in the long run. These simple “bugs” will cause fever in infants as their immune systems try to fight off the virus.

Infants, especially those under six months of age, have a harder time controlling their body temperature than an adult or an older child. In some cases, steps must be taken to control the temperature of the infant before it becomes too high.

Side Effects of Fever in Infants

Fevers are in inevitable part of childhood. Fevers are more likely to wreck the nerves of new parents or caregivers than cause actual harm to the infant.  Parents may be shocked when a pediatrician acts as if a fever is no big deal and suggests little of no treatment. Pediatricians know that a rising body temperature is a sign that the infant’s immune system is attempting to fight off a virus of bacterial infection. In many cases, it is best to leave the fever alone. 

On the other hand, a fever can quickly get out of control in some infants. For this reason, a fever must be constantly monitored in a child under the age of one year. Fevers that quickly rise well above 101 degrees Fahrenheit can result in seizures. In rare cases high fevers can result in brain damage and death. 

Monitoring and Treating a Fever

Body temperatures in infants can vary. According to FamilyDoctor.org  temperatures up to 100.3 degrees Fahrenheit can be considered normal in infants. With a low grade fever of this nature, a cool bath may help ease the discomfort of the fever. Water temperature should be cool to lukewarm as cold baths can cause uncomfortable chills and cold like symptoms in babies.

Make sure to dress down the child if the fever is high. If the infant is  in a warm sleeps with a blanket it may be best to dress them in light breathable clothing. Cotton pajamas and sleepers are a good choice if the weather is cold. In warmer environments it is fine to let the infant rest in only a diaper. 

A cool compress to applied to the forehead or neck can help lower a fever an alleviate any discomfort. If a younger infant shows persisting signs of discomfort (crying, trouble sleeping or sleep disturbances) but still does not have a fever higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit ,  a call to the family doctor or ER is essential.

The most accurate way of taking a temperature is rectally. If this can’t be done for whatever reason, the fever can be taken under the armpit. With most thermometers you add three to the reading to get the most accurate result. 

If the fever doesn’t drop or stays the same after attempting all of the methods above, it may become necessary to give the infant a drop of Tylenol. Dosages for younger infants are often not listed on the dosage chart located on the bottle.  While dosages can be found on line, it’s best to call the family doctor to obtain the correct dosage. While Ibuprofen works well at reducing fevers it is not recommended for infants under six months of age. In an infant over six months of age with a persistent high fever both fever reducers can be used. Askdrsears.com suggests alternating the two medications every two hours for best results. 

Most experts agree that fevers in infants should be followed up by a doctor.  Simple tests can used to rule out harsh infections or serious viruses. Consulting a doctor is a necessary precaution that should be taken in all fevers in infants, regardless of the knowledge of the parent on how to treat them at home.