What Is The Best Way To Treat A Baby With A Fever?

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Michael Caine
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How can you help a baby with fever? Take your baby’s temperature if they wake up in the middle of the night upset and feeling hot and flushed to see if they have a fever. There are numerous causes for why your child could get a fever. Although fevers by themselves are not harmful, occasionally, the underlying cause can. Young babies are more likely than older kids to have a fever that needs to be treated.

Ages 3 months and younger newborns should visit a gp immediately if they experience a fever. A physician should examine infants with high or recurring fevers. If no other worrying symptoms appear, low-grade fevers in infants older than three months can be appropriately managed at home.

Identifying A Baby With Fever

The average temperature is around 98.6°F (37°C). From morning to night, this temperature may vary slightly. Body temperatures generally rise in the afternoon and evening and drop when you first wake up. Infants with fever younger than three months old should see a doctor immediately so they can determine the underlying cause and, if necessary, treat it.

Infants are deemed to be feverish if they have a temperature that is:

  • When taken rectally, 100.4°F (38°C) or higher.
  • 99°F (37.2°C) or more when ingested using alternative methods.

Infants older than three months don’t always need to see their doctor for low-grade fevers.

How To Reduce A Fever: Ways to Treat Baby Fever

A visit to the doctor may not be necessary if an infant older than three months has a mildly elevated temperature. The following techniques may help you with some ways to treat baby fever:


You can give your child a safe dose of children’s acetaminophen if they are older than three months (Tylenol). Usually, quantities are determined by weight. If your baby hasn’t recently been weighed or experienced a growth spurt, your doctor may advise having them do so. You won’t need to give your baby any medication if their fever isn’t making them uncomfortable or fussy. The drug can temporarily make your infant feel better for higher fevers or other symptoms that are upsetting them.

Adjust Their Clothing

To keep your baby comfortable and relaxed, dress them in light clothing and only cover them with a sheet or thin blanket. If you overdress your child, it might prevent their body from cooling down naturally.

Turn Down The Temperature

Keep your house and the space where your baby sleeps cool. By doing this, they may be kept from overheating.

Give Them A Lukewarm Bath

Consider wiping your child down with warm water. (The water should feel warm to the touch on the inside of your arm, but not hot.) To ensure bather safety, maintain constant supervision. Use warm water instead of cold because cold water can cause shivering, raising their temperature. After bathing your baby, dry them off immediately and dress them in light clothing. Alcohol baths or wipes are not advised and are potentially harmful to lowering fevers.

Offer Fluids

Fever can have complications, one of which is dehydration. Ensure your baby has regular wet diapers, a moist mouth, and tears when crying. Provide regular fluids (breast milk or formula). If this worries you, call your doctor’s office to discuss how to keep your child hydrated.

Things To Avoid – A Baby With Fever

If your child has a fever, you should avoid doing the following things:

  • A newborn with any fever, an infant with a high fever, or someone who otherwise looks pretty ill should not wait to get medical help.
  • Never give your baby medication without taking their temperature and checking with your doctor’s office.
  • Never take any medication meant for adults.
  • Avoid overdressing your child.
  • Neither ice nor rubbing alcohol should be used to lower your baby’s body temperature.

How To Check A Baby with Fever Temperature

Use a multipurpose digital thermometer horizontally to obtain the most precise reading. Rectal temperatures will be higher than those obtained using other techniques, so keep that in mind.

Here’s how to rectally take your baby’s temperature:

  • Set the measurements to Fahrenheit or Celsius after reading the manufacturer’s instructions (to report the temperature correctly).
  • Make use of soap or rubbing alcohol to clean the thermometer.
  • Put some petroleum jelly or another safe lubricant on the thermometer’s tip.
  • Your baby’s bottom should be free from any coverings or diapers.
  • Lay your child on a secure and welcoming surface, such as a bed or changing table, or place them on your lap.
  • While you take your baby’s temperature, hold them gently in place. To prevent the thermometer from further penetrating your baby’s rectum, keep them still and restrained during the procedure. It is best to have assistance holding the baby still to prevent harm.
  • When the thermometer beeps, only a half-inch to an inch should be inserted into your infant’s rectum. A visual notch or safety guide on most thermometers indicates the safe limit for rectal insertion.
  • Carefully remove the thermometer and take a reading.

If you use other devices by their instructions, they might give your baby accurate temperature readings. Infants under three months of age may not be able to use temporal artery thermometers, which take the temperature from the forehead. For infants this age, a rectal temperature is advised.

Treatment of Baby Fever

Tympanic thermometers only work on infants older than six months and take their temperature from the ear.

Other recommendations for taking your baby’s temperature are as follows:

  • To avoid confusion, label your digital multiuse thermometer specifically for rectal use.
  • Take your baby’s temperature without using the oral or underarm methods. These aren’t thought to be reliable for babies and young children.
  • If you touch your baby’s forehead and feel warmth, don’t assume they have a fever. To determine fever, you need an accurate digital thermometer reading.
  • Mercury-filled thermometers should not be used. If they break, there is a chance of mercury exposure.

When To Seek Help: Treatment of Baby Fever

WTreatment of baby fever… During an illness, keep an eye on your baby’s temperature and other symptoms and behaviors to determine whether you need to call your doctor.

You should consult a doctor or receive medical care for your infant if:

  • If your baby under three months old experiences any temperature changes
  • 102°F (38.9°C) or higher rectal temperature in your infant who is between three and six months old
  • Your child, between the ages of six and 24 months, has a fever that lasts longer than a day or two and is otherwise symptom-free.
  • They frequently experience or have a fever that has lasted more than 24 hours.
  • They exhibit irritability (fussiness) or lethargy (weak or more sleepy than usual)
  • After taking the prescribed medication, call your doctor if your baby’s temperature doesn’t go down within an hour or so.
  • They exhibit additional signs like a rash, irregular feeding, or vomiting.
  • They lack moisture (not producing tears, spit, or the usual amount of wet diapers)

Why Do Babies Get Fevers?

Typically, fevers are a sign of a more serious medical problem.

There are a variety of causes for your baby’s fever, including:

  • A viral illness
  • Bacterial contamination
  • Specific vaccines
  • A different illness

Children’s respiratory illnesses like colds and ear infections are frequent causes of fevers.

Does Teething Cause Fevers?

Fever is not thought to be caused by teething. Another underlying illness could bring on your teething baby’s fever.

The Takeaway

Different treatments will be used for infants depending on the child’s age and the symptoms present, in addition to the fever. While older infants may be treated at home if they develop a mild fever, newborns must be seen by a doctor immediately. Always consult your doctor before administering any medication to your infant, and take your child to the doctor if they experience a high fever or one that lasts for more than a few days.

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