If you likened parenthood to a roller coaster ride, no one would blame you! It’s filled with ups and downs, tensions, and anxieties– perhaps in equal measure with bouts of excitement, thrills, and surprises.
It’s even more daunting for new moms– who may not have a clue about what it means when the baby cries uncontrollably or sweats profusely. As for the latter, we all know (hopefully) that fever is not a good thing. It could indicate a health issue that warrants a visit to your family doctor or pediatrician ASAP.
But how do you tell if your child is just ‘normally hot’ or having a fever? Let’s look at some signs to look out for.
Fever in Babies and What It Could Indicate
When your baby has a fever, it’s essential to know the possible causes. An elevated temperature could indicate a common infection like a cold or something more serious, such as ear infections, urinary tract infections, or even meningitis.
Early identification and appropriate medical attention are crucial for your little one’s health and well-being.
In a nutshell, some medical issues a fever might indicate in babies include:
- Colds and flu
- Ear infections
- Urinary tract infections
- Respiratory infections
- Immunization side effects
- Roseola (a viral illness)
5 Signs Your Child Could Have a Fever (And Needs to Get Checked)
It’s crucial to recognize the signs of fever in your child early on. Here are five key symptoms that should prompt you to get them checked:
1. High Temperature: What Temperature Counts as a Fever in Children?
Remember, fever is the body’s natural response to infection or inflammation. As one of the ways fever manifests, temperature changes can serve as a key indicator of your child’s health status. Fever in children can be identified by a body temperature above normal, which is typically 98.6°F (37°C). Always check with a thermometer for accuracy.
If your baby is under three months and has a temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, seek medical attention immediately as this could indicate a serious medical issue.
2. Chills and Sweats
Alternating chills and sweating are common signs of fever as the body tries to regulate its temperature. If these symptoms persist despite administering fever-reducing medications or if your child seems unusually distressed, consult a doctor right away.
3. Loss of Appetite
A sick child may refuse meals or show little interest in eating their favorite foods when they have a fever. If this continues for more than 24 hours or is accompanied by dehydration symptoms (such as dark urine), it’s essential to seek medical help promptly.
Keep in mind, a child’s loss of appetite could also result from stress, medication side effects, or other unrelated illnesses, so it’s important to assess the overall health of your child and observe any additional symptoms.
4. Lethargy and Irritability
Fatigue, drowsiness, and increased crankiness could indicate that your child is not feeling well due to a fever. These shouldn’t be so difficult to spot if you’re dedicated to caring for your baby.
Also, watch for persistent changes in mood or energy levels that go beyond typical tiredness, as these signs can help confirm the presence of a fever and may warrant a doctor’s visit.
5. Flushed Skin
Red or warm cheeks are often observed during fever episodes as the body increases blood flow near the skin’s surface to help disperse heat. However, it’s important to verify the presence of a fever with a thermometer and monitor other symptoms closely, as flushed skin alone could be caused by factors like physical exertion or exposure to heat sources.
To sum up, staying vigilant in recognizing signs of fever in your baby or child is critical to ensuring their health and safety. Timely identification of symptoms can lead to early medical intervention, preventing further medical problems or complications from the underlying issue.
Keep a close eye on these indicators, and never hesitate to consult a healthcare professional if you’re concerned about your little one’s well-being. Remember, it’s better to be cautious and proactive when it comes to the health of your child.