We all experience fever in our life at least once. Luckily, as adults, we can tell what a fever is. We are able to describe what we feel to the doctor. But what about a baby? What is a fever for a baby? Having a fever without being able to tell how she feels must be tough.
What is a fever?
You have to understand first that a fever is not an illness. A fever is an indicator that follows an illness. When a person is having a fever, it means that her immune system is working, fighting the illness that enters her body.
When your baby is having a fever, she raises her body temperature above the level of normal. What raises the temperature is hypothalamus, which is found in a part of the brain. Hypothalamus works as an alarm in her body. When something is wrong with her temperature, the part sends a signal to the body indicating that the body should prepare its defense mechanism.
Raising the body temperature is also how hypothalamus reset your body. Heating up the body is a way for the body to fight infection, illness, or other factors that cause the fever.
What causes fever?
Usually, a fever is caused by infection caused by organism disorders such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites. However, it can also be caused by immunization or vaccination. Dressing your baby overly contributes to the rise of her temperature as well. Because your baby cannot control the temperature of her body like adults, being in a hot environment makes her body temperature rises.
If you see your baby doesn’t want to sleep, eat, or play. It could be signs of a fever. Symptoms of fever can also be seen if your baby has a lack of interest in playing, is less active, or have convulsions or seizures.
Measuring the fever
You can measure the fever using a more traditional or modern way. When you see the indication that your baby is having a fever, give a gentle kiss on her forehead. Another way is to put your hand on the skin. It is enough to tell you that she’s experiencing one. However, you cannot know exactly the temperature of her body by doing that.
That’s why the thermometer is invented. You can use a good digital thermometer to measure body temperature. If you place the thermometer in the mouth, the normal body temperature is 37.8 Celsius degree. If you put the thermometer in the bottom are, the normal temperature is 38 Celsius degree.
How to bring down baby fever?
If your baby’s fever is not serious, you don’t have to go to the doctor. You can lower the temperature at home. But keep in mind that lowering the temperature doesn’t mean that you’re curing the illness. In fact, fever is a way for your baby to fight the illness. However, if you’re worried and her fever is going to high, it’s okay to lower her temperature down as she may be dehydrated and feel uncomfortable.
Below are some ways you can try:
- You can try by compressing your baby’s forehead with a cool and damp washcloth.
- Give your baby water and chilled foods to keep her body cool from the inside.
- Circulate the air around her using fan.
- Don’t dress her in layers of clothing. Use thin and loose clothes so that her skin can breathe therefore releasing the heat. If she’s shivering, wrap her up with a blanket to give her enough warmth.
When to see a doctor?
If your baby is younger than 3 months old, call the doctor immediately. At that age, it could be an indication of serious illness. If your baby is older than 3 months, you can call a doctor when her temperature hits 40 Celsius degree or more.