Next time your little one strikes a fever it doesn’t mean you need to get overheated. There are a handful of things to remember to help you keep a cool head. First, it’s not considered a fever until the temperature tops 100.4.
“We like to know about fevers over the 100.4 mark. Anything above the 103.5 – 104 range can be associated with significant infections,” says Dr. Nancy Witham, pediatrician with Lee Memorial Health System.
Secondly, fever is a healthy response for the body.
“People always assume the fever itself may be part of the sickness, but a fever is oftentimes what your body is doing to help you fight off an infection,” says Dr. Witham.
Third on our list is to treat the symptoms, not the number. Instead of focusing on the thermometer’s fluctuations, pay attention to what’s making your child feel bad.
“You’re giving your fever reducer not so much to bring down the fever. It’ll do that hopefully, but it is also going to make them feel a little bit more comfortable. Maybe make them a little bit more likely to drink the juice you think they need,” says Dr. Witham.
Fourth up - in babies use a rectal temperature. A rectal thermometer gives true core temperature whereas forehead and ear thermometers aren’t nearly as accurate.
And finally, keep your doctor updated. And tell them about symptoms that might be a sign of something more serious.
“We would like to know where you’ve taken your temperature and what you’ve gotten, what you’re noticing as a parent. Your child is lying around even after the anti fever medicine and has that stiff neck. You might also want to notice any skin rashes; that can be very important,” says Dr. Witham.
Another important point, is to stay calm, most fevers subside in a matter of days.