How to tell if your baby has a fever
The average body temperature of a baby is about 37 degrees Celsius. Having a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or more for a period longer than 24 hours, signifies a fever. Fevers can last much longer if it is an indication of a more serious underlying illness or long-term disease.
When to worry about the fever
If your 3 month old baby has a fever, seek medical attention immediately. It could be a symptom of something more serious. If your 3-12 month old baby has a very high fever of 39-40 degrees or higher, it is serious and medical advice should be sought immediately. Unattended high fevers in babies can have serious long-term, far-reaching effects.
Most fevers are short-lived and will go away in a day or two. Most of them are not serious, though knowing what has caused your baby's fever will help you understand how serious the fever is.
Common causes for a baby's fever
Infections such as throat and ear infections, pneumonia, urinary tract infections (UTI), meningitis and infections of the blood are all common causes for fevers in babies. Viruses that contribute to colds, coughs and childhood diseases result in the most common ailments your baby may face. Other reasons for your baby's fever are teething or over-exhaustion.
There are other fairly uncommon reasons your baby might get a fever. If they suffer from severe, long-term joint inflammation, some types of tumours, are allergic to vaccines or drugs, or have a gastrointestinal disease, this may result in them developing a fever.
How to remedy a baby's fever
There is no one size fits all for remedying a baby's fever, nor can you expect to instantly take the fever away. Here are some tips that will assist you in how to respond to your baby's fever.
React calmly. A fever is not a sickness, but an indication of the body fighting an illness. Give your baby a comforting cuddle and let them know you are right there to reassure them and help them rest. Sleep is vital to helping your baby recover from the illness that has resulted in a fever.
Make sure they are drinking enough fluids so they don't get dehydrated. Water or milk is sufficient for very young babies. For older babies, you can give them diluted juice or soup. Be sure to dilute it so if the fever is a result of a stomach problem, the concentrated food won't further add to the illness.
When they need medical attention
If your baby has a fever of 40 degrees or more and the fever is still climbing, it is highly recommended you seek medical immediately. Very high, prolonged fevers are the result of a more serious, underlying problem and should be addressed with medical attention.
Your doctor may prescribe medication such as Nurofen (which comes in flavors that will best suit your baby's taste buds), Paracetamol, Calpol or Lemsip to help bring down the fever to a more normal temperature as well as to treat the original cause.