What Are The Best Ways To Fight Fevers?
When your little one is sick, it’s not at all surprising that many moms are unsure about what to do. After all, you didn’t get handed a PhD in medicine with the birth certificate!
In fact, research by Nurofen for Children has found that 27% of new Moms are unsure of what to do when their baby is unwell; often relying on friends and family for advice. Furthermore, a third (30%) of new moms lack confidence when it comes to understanding what their baby’s cry means: These things take time.
But don’t let this uncertainty leave you feeling scared. There is plenty you can do to make your baby feel better, even if it takes a couple of days for them to be back to their usual selves.
What causes fever?
Fever is often the first sign of an illness in children, especially if they’re not yet able to explain how they are feeling. When your child has a temperature, it can be a worrying and stressful time. However, a high temperature is simply one of your child’s ways of fighting infection and increasing protection against disease.
Fever can occur when your child has a ‘cold or flu’ or following childhood immunisations. Symptoms may vary according to the underlying cause of fever, but some common signs to look out for include:
- Irritability and lethargy.
- Restlessness during the night.
- Pale with cool hands and feet but hot forehead, tummy and back.
- Vomiting suddenly.
- Loss of appetite.
- Shivering uncontrollably.
- Hot and flushed all over.
What are the best ways to take a temperature?
A child’s temperature should be taken from the ear or armpit, using a digital thermometer. Make sure the thermometer is clean and that you read the manufacturers instructions carefully. It should be placed directly against the skin and held in place if necessary as per manufacturers instructions.
How can I treat a fever?
Thanks to the #feverfighters campaign, we have some top tips, devised by Dr Sinead Beirne, to help you feel prepared when your baby has a fever:
1. KNOW WHAT CONSTITUTES A TEMPERATURE
A big part of feeling in control, is being able to recognise what’s normal and what isn’t. Your baby’s normal temperature range is between 36°C – 36.8°C. A fever is seen as a temperature of over 38°C on more than one consecutive reading.
2. COOL BABY DOWN
To tackle a fever, it can help to cool your baby down by stripping them to their vest; and/or placing them in a bath of lukewarm water. Just make sure the water doesn’t get too cold.
3. MEDICATE AT HOME
You can usually medicate your baby effectively at home. Ibuprofen can be given to babies over 3 months or babies weighing over 5kgs. Paracetamol can be used from 2 months. But remember, parents should always read the label of any medicine before giving it to their children.
4. HYDRATION IS KEY
Keep your baby well hydrated with fluids. If they have been vomiting, you may need to rehydrate slowly. De Beirne’s top tip for spacing out hydration is to give a teaspoon of fluid for every commercial break, if you've got the TV on. Ice pops can be helpful too if they’re struggling to drink.
5. SLEEP PATTERNS
Be careful not to bundle your baby up in too many blankets or extra clothes at bedtime, as you don't want to increase the body temperature. Keep an eye on the room temperature if you have a thermometer, and try using a baby sleep bag and just one layer of light clothing, like a vest. No need for pyjamas too.
6. SEEKING HELP
If your baby is under 3 months and has a definite temperature, you should make arrangements to see a doctor. Likewise, if baby is over 3 months and their temperature stays above 38.5°C despite treatment; or rises to 39°C - 40°C and if a fever lasts longer than 2 days, you should make an appointment to see your doctor.
Remember: You know your baby best. Though most temperatures can be managed safely at home, your child should see a doctor if they have a spreading rash, headache, poor colour, limping, stiff neck or a reaction to bright light.
What to look for in fever medication
- Works fast to control the fever as quickly as possible.
- Has proven tolerability in children.
- Added benefits can include relieving pain and inflammation.
- An oral suspension is the most common way to dose your child; however if they are vomiting or will not take an oral suspension, suppositories are an alternative format to use.
- Always read the instructions carefully, and do not exceed the recommended dose.
Nurofen for children
Nurofen for Children can reduce fever and can provide fast effective relief for mild to moderate pain, such as cold and flu symptoms, toothache, headache, sore throats and earache.
It contains ibuprofen, which provides effective pain and fever relief for children from 3 months and weighing over 5kg. Nurofen for Children starts to work in 15 minutes to reduce fever and can last up to eight hours, helping baby and mom get relief during the day or night, when baby is unwell.
With products for babies (3 months+), toddlers, and older children; you can choose a product that will suit your child’s stage best, ensuring they quickly get the help they need.
This article is kindly sponsored by Nurofen for Children.
Nurofen for Children is meant for short-term use only. If your child’s symptoms persist for more than 3 days, if pain or fever worsen or if new symptoms occur, consult your doctor/pharmacist straight away.
ALWAYS READ THE LABEL.