what to do if an infant has a fever

what to do if an infant has a fever

Fever in infants is a common concern for parents and caregivers. While it is often a sign of the body fighting an infection, it can also be a cause for worry if it persists or if other symptoms arise. Here is a step-by-step guide on what to do if an infant has a fever:

  1. Check the temperature: The first step is to take your infant’s temperature using a digital thermometer. It is recommended to use a rectal thermometer for infants under three months of age, as it provides the most accurate reading. A fever is considered to be a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) or higher.
  2. Monitor the fever: Once you have determined that your infant has a fever, it is important to monitor it regularly. Keep track of the temperature and any changes in your infant’s behavior or symptoms. This will help you determine whether the fever is getting better or worse.
  3. Keep the infant hydrated: Fevers can cause dehydration, so it is important to make sure your infant is drinking enough fluids. Offer breast milk or formula more frequently than usual, and if your infant is old enough to drink water, offer small amounts throughout the day. Avoid giving your infant sugary drinks or fruit juices.
  4. Dress your infant in light clothing: Dress your infant in lightweight clothing to help reduce their body temperature. Avoid bundling them up in heavy blankets or clothing, as this can cause the fever to rise.
  5. Use fever-reducing medication: If your infant’s fever is causing discomfort or is high, you can use fever-reducing medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. However, it is important to consult with your pediatrician before giving any medication to an infant.
  6. Keep your infant comfortable: Make sure your infant is comfortable by keeping them in a cool, quiet room. Use a fan or air conditioning to help keep the room cool, but avoid placing the fan directly on your infant.
  7. Watch for other symptoms: While a fever is often a sign of a mild illness, it can also be a symptom of a more serious condition. Watch for other symptoms such as difficulty breathing, a rash, or lethargy. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your pediatrician immediately.
  8. Seek medical attention if necessary: If your infant’s fever is persistently high (above 102°F/38.9°C), lasts longer than three days, or is accompanied by other symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention. Contact your pediatrician or go to the emergency room if necessary.

In conclusion, fever in infants is a common concern, but it can be managed with proper care and attention. By monitoring your infant’s temperature, keeping them hydrated and comfortable, and watching for other symptoms, you can help your infant recover quickly and safely. If you have any concerns or questions, always consult with your pediatrician.

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