Taking Care of Fever in Children

Fever in children is mostly due to some infection. Fever is not due to teething, although teething and infection may occur at the same time in a child. It is possible that at the time when a child is teething, her immunity is less and that is why she gets the infection. The infection is due to virus or bacteria.

Infection in children is usually due to respiratory tract or gastrointestinal infection. Respiratory tract infection is associated with sore throat, cough and cold and gastro intestinal tract infection is associated with vomiting and diarrhea. Of course, there are many other causes of fever like malaria, typhoid fever, dengue, tuberculosis, urinary tract infections, and many other known and unknown diseases. But when your child gets fever there is no need to think about all the serious diseases and get worried about those, unless of course your doctor suspects any of those diseases.

Some parents, when they went to see doctor with their child, who has had fever for one or two days and but is not very ill, ask doctor to do the tests on their child because someone they know had dengue fever or some other serious disease. Firstly, one must remember that many of the tests for various diseases become positive only after few days of illness so tests are not going to help you in any way initially. 

Common reasons for fever are respiratory-tract infections or gastroenteritis, so most of the times this is what your child has and surely your child will get better in 3 to 5 days. Unless signs and symptoms of certain disease is obvious right from beginning, if a child is not better in 5 to 6 days, only then one goes for elaborate tests; or if the child is very ill, in which case she may need hospital admission.

Whenever children get an infection, body produces certain agents which fight the infection. These agents produce fever also. Fever itself does not harm the patient unless it is more than 41°C (106°F). However, there are two reasons to try and reduce the temperature; 
  1. to make the child comfortable 
  2. there are some children (5% to 6%) between the ages of 1 to 5 years who can get convulsions with fever, i.e. febrile convulsion. Convulsions usually occur on the 1st day of infection with onset of fever, or sometimes with high fever. For these reasons one should try to bring the temperature down.

So when your child gets fever you can start giving him antipyretic medicines like paracetamol or Ibuprofen which you should keep with you all the time. Besides that, when your child gets high fever, tepid sponging can be done. Although temperature will come down with these medications, it is quite likely that fever will keep on coming and going till your child is cured of infection. This may take three to seven days depending on the infection your child has.

Children do not have adequate resistance against various diseases and, it is only natural that they keep on falling ill when they come in contact with various germs. You can reduce these germs in the environment by taking hygienic precautions, especially frequent hand washing. In spite of all the precautions it is not possible to get rid of all the germs and also it is not necessary to do so. Every child will fall ill now and then, and when they grow up, they will eventually get immunity against many diseases. There are, of course many serious diseases against which we have vaccinations and so you must see that your child gets all the vaccinations that are available.

Remember, if your child gets fever there is no need to get too worried about this. Accept the fact that your child will get this now and then. With proper treatment, your child will definitely get better.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post