Do Not Panic When Your Baby Spikes a Fever

Do Not Panic When Your Baby Spikes a Fever

What to do and When to be Concerned

It is midnight and your baby wakes up screaming a scream that you have never heard before.  You high-tail it into their room with a thermometer.  When the thermometer beeps, you are shocked and frightened by the numbers you see.  You see 104.5 and you freak out!  This is what happened to me.  The first time I saw numbers such as these I called the pediatrician asking at what point do I take my daughter to the hospital.  I thought 102 was a "high fever" that warranted attention.  Boy, as a first time mom, I had A LOT to learn about kids and sickness.  Through experience, research and many doctor's appointments, I figured I would share some of my knowledge so that when you are in the same position, you can keep calm and handle the situation....without waking your doctor up.

A fever is the body's way of fighting off infections and viruses.  To spike a fever is actually a good thing when your child is sick or coming down with something.  It assures you that their body is working the way it is supposed to.  It could signify anything such as the common cold, or even the flu.  In children and babies, it is not uncommon to see high numbers ranging from 102 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.  If you call the doctor, the doctor will most likely act as though it is no big deal that your child has a fever and tell you what to do and what to look out for.  I know my doctor says that if the fever does not break within 48 hours, or does not go down with Tylenol or Motrin, then to bring my kids in.  I typically bring my kids in after 24 hours, but it depends on what YOU are comfortable with.  Remember, you and your children are the customer.  Never let the doctor make you feel as though your child's illness or your concerns are insignificant. 

In order to help ease your child's pain and to help reduce the fever, there are a few things you can do.  The first, as I mentioned above is to administer Tylenol or Ibuprofen.  Follow the directions on the bottle and check their fever about one hour after giving the medication.  If their fever does not go down, call your doctor, because it could signify a more serious illness.  You can also give your child a warm bath.  That will help to lower their body temperature and to relax them, making sleeping less of an obstacle.  After all, when you are feeling crummy, it is hard to sleep, no matter how young or old you are.  It is very important to keep your child hydrated when they have a fever.  The fever may eat away at their electrolytes, which they need in order for their body to fight the illness properly.  If your child does not want water, Pedialyte and Pedialyte freeze pops are an excellent option. 

As always, keep a close eye on your child and follow your doctor's instructions as given.  Your doctor knows what is best and will not steer you wrong if you are honest with them.  Remember, keep your hands clean in order to prevent spreading more illness through the house.  Good luck and try to stay calm the next time you see high numbers on the thermometer.