Seeing a baby with a fever, especially when it's your child, is one of the worst situations there is. Even if you think there's not much you can do, it's possible to make the little one more comfortable, especially if he can already take medicine to lower his body temperature. In case of doubt, do not think twice and talk to your pediatrician to receive guidance and be more relaxed. Below, read the answers to some of the most common questions about fever in babies.
Method 1 of 6: Should I take a newborn with a fever to the pediatrician?
Step 1. Yes, take the baby to the doctor as soon as possible when confirming that there is a fever
You should not try to lower the temperature of babies less than three months old; contact your child's pediatrician when the fever reaches or exceeds 38°C. If the office is already closed or it's the weekend, take him to the nearest emergency room.
The doctor will examine the baby and make an accurate diagnosis, drawing up an appropriate treatment plan
Method 2 of 6: How to lower a baby's fever?
Step 1. Give antipyretics to babies over three months of age
Seeing the little one with a fever is distressing, but the medications can ease the discomfort while lowering the temperature. Talk to your pediatrician and follow instructions if he or she prescribes antipyretics, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, for babies over three months old. See other dosages:
- Baby Tylenol (paracetamol): check the chart according to the baby's weight.
- Tylenol drops (paracetamol): Consult a doctor for the correct dosage for children under two years old or 11 kg in weight.
- Children's Alivium (ibuprofen): from six months of age, 1 drop per kilogram of weight, with intervals of six to eight hours (maximum three or four times a day). Anyway, medical advice for babies up to two years old is important.
Method 3 of 6: How to naturally lower a baby's fever?
Step 1. Provide plenty of fluid to hydrate him
Your baby's body will work hard to regulate his temperature, and he needs fluids to function. If you are less than six months old, breast milk (or infant formula) are the best options, as long as you can handle drinking. To encourage babies over this age group to drink fluids, prepare a diluted fruit juice or simply give them water while cuddling to soothe them.
It is important to avoid dehydration in the little one with a fever. Provide fluids for a minute or two; it will be enough for him to feel better and stay hydrated
Step 2. Give the baby a warm bath to lower the temperature
Fill a baby bath with about 5 cm of water in the temperature range between 32 and 35 °C and place the baby inside. Do this by keeping him supported, carefully pouring the warm water over his legs, arms and stomach. Speak in a pleasant voice or sing as you do this to help you relax.
- Never leave the little one alone during the bath. Don't forget to support his neck if he still can't control his head.
- A cold shower may seem like the best idea, but in fact, it's possible that it will end up being a shock to the body. Chills actually cause the temperature to rise.
Method 4 of 6: What are the babies' fever classifications?
Step 1. Between 38°C and 39°C, low-grade fever is characterized
When healthy, his temperature will be 36, 1 °C to 38 °C; a little above that will be a mild fever, so there is still no need for treatment and no major concern; it is a sign that the organism is fighting the “invader” on its own.
- Monitor his temperature constantly to see if he's risen.
- When the fever is low, it is normal for the little one to look uncomfortable or want a lot of attention. Pet and cuddle him so he feels better.
Step 2. Temperatures between 39°C and 40°C indicate moderate fever in infants older than three months
Although these seem like high measures and are alarming, this indicates that his body is successfully fighting the microorganisms. To make him more comfortable, see his pediatrician if he can take acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
Watch for other symptoms of illness and analyze how long the fever persists. When contacting a medical service, the temperature will be asked
Step 3. Any value above 40 °C characterizes high fever
It is normal to be quite frightened as the baby will exhibit unusual or lethargic behavior. Take it to the pediatrician, if the care is immediate, or to the nearest emergency room, especially if the temperature exceeds 41 °C. The medical team will be able to diagnose the cause of the fever by hydrating the child with fluids.
It is essential to seek medical attention for high fevers. Go to the hospital if the pediatrician is currently unable to attend
Method 5 of 6: How to dress a baby with a fever?
Step 1. The ideal is to wear light clothing, so as not to retain the heat
Instead of putting on several layers of clothing or wrapping the little one, a simple fabric jumpsuit that allows air circulation, such as cotton, will suffice. So it will be more comfortable than with heavy layers of clothing.
- If he sweats and wets his clothes, change them as soon as possible. Skin contact with wet fabric may make you cold.
- Chills indicate that the baby is a little cold. In that case, you can cover it with a blanket or sheet, as long as it's thin; just avoid heavy clothes so they don't get “overheated”.
Method 6 of 6: When should I take the baby to the doctor?
Step 1. Contact your pediatrician if a newborn has a fever
Again, a temperature of 38°C (or more) in a baby less than three months old can be quite uneasy; talk to the child's doctor, even if there are no other symptoms.
It is likely that the specialist will ask to take you to the office for tests, ruling out other health problems
Step 2. Call your pediatrician if the temperature of a baby aged three to six months reaches 39°C
When the fever remains low and the child does not show any change in behavior, monitor the temperature and make him comfortable. On the other hand, if he is irritable or more tired than usual, in addition to the fever, contact with the doctor will be important. Hold the baby, cuddle or sing to keep him calm while talking to the pediatrician.
Once again, it is possible that he will recommend a consultation, or at least advise which medication should be administered
Step 3. If the temperature does not drop after 24 hours, take him to the emergency room
This is important for babies over 6 months of age and with a temperature above 39°C, especially if neither ibuprofen or paracetamol is effective. Go to the hospital if the fever persists for more than a day or if there are other symptoms such as diarrhea, coughing or vomiting.
It is also necessary to seek medical attention if the fever, even if low, lasts for more than three days
The use of a rectal thermometer is indicated so that the temperature measurement is more accurate. If you don't have one, check the temperature orally, as it is still a more reliable method than the axillary
- It is frightening to see that the baby has a fever, especially in times of pandemic, so do not hesitate to contact your pediatrician. He will be able to provide the best recommendations, very specific to the child, and make sure there is nothing to worry about.
- Due to the risk of developing Reye's Syndrome, a serious disease of the nervous system, aspirin should not be given to babies.