One of the most daunting moments in the life of any parent is when the baby gets a fever. This is especially true when the baby is just a few weeks old and the reading in the clinical thermometer shows that the fever is quite high and the parents keep thinking about why it happened and what to do next. Many-a-time, they also cannot assess when the body temperature of the baby needs to be checked which can lead to dire consequences. That is why an attempt is being made to give you some idea about infant fevers and what you should do when your baby has one.
Cause of Infant Fevers
Keep it in mind that a fever is not an illness. On the contrary, it is a manifestation of something else and hence it is considered to be a symptom. A fever actually depicts that there happens to be a particular ailment in the body with which the immune system is fighting. This proves that the immune system is actually working. In most cases, when your baby has fever it means that he or she has picked up some kind of viral infection or has caught cold.
Apart from that, although they are much less common among infants, Urinary Tract Infection or UTI, Pneumonia, a more serious kind of infection like Meningitis or Blood Bacterial Infection can also cause fever. There can be other causes of fever among babies, too, like getting overheated for spending too much time outside in the hot sun or being overdressed with woollen garments or can be a reaction to vaccination.
Signs of Fever in Infants
One common sign of fever among babies happens to be a slightly heated forehead. Nevertheless, you must understand that if your baby does not have a warm forehead it does not mean he or she does not have fever. Your baby can also become fussier and crankier than before when he or she has a high temperature. The other symptoms may include the following:
- Poor eating
- Poor sleeping
- Lack of interest in play
- Seizures or convulsions
Procedure for Taking Temperatures
An infant’s temperature can be taken in a number of ways. You can take it via the mouth (orally), rectum (rectally), under the arms (axillary) or through the ears or at the temples. The physicians only recommend the usage of digital thermometers in case of babies as then the mercury thermometers can break and then it poses a threat of mercury exposure and poisoning to the little ones.
Rectal temperatures can be taken very easily in case of infants and this temperature is also the most accurate one. Babies are not able to hold an oral thermometer in place and the temperatures taken by the temporal, ear or underarm thermometer are not accurate.
You must first ensure that the thermometer is clean prior to using it for taking rectal temperature. Wipe it off with rubbing alcohol or wash it with soap and water. Lay down your baby on the back with legs pulled near the chest. You can also lay your baby on the belly. You should apply a little bit of petroleum jelly all around the thermometer bulb and insert it about 1 inch into the opening of the rectum. Then you must hold the thermometer in place for about a couple of minutes till you hear the beep. After that, gently remove the thermometer and read the temperature.
Now that you know when and how to do it, just ensure that the digital thermometer you are using is of a reputed brand and is bought from a reliable online store where you get authentic products at affordable price.