As parents it is important for you to differentiate between normal baby temperature and fever so a proper treatment can be administered to the baby. A true fever can be worrisome for an infant as his\her immune system is still immature to deal with various infections.
Normal body temperature is typically, 98.6F (37.0C) and baby’s temperature can normally vary by as much as 2F in either direction. A baby is said to have fever when his\her temperature rises above 100.4F.
Normally, fever is used by our body’s immune system to fight of viral or bacterial infections. Rise in body temperature creates an inhospitable environment for virus\bacteria and accelerates the production of disease-fighting white blood corpuscles.
However, babies are more prone to fevers because their body’s temperature control system is not well developed. The other factors that may raise baby’s temperature are overexertion, dehydration, mosquito bites, allergic reactions or bee sting.
The usual symptoms of fever include coughing, body aches, shivering and inability to sleep.You must call a doctor even if the fever is not high but your baby shows any of the signs like poor appetite, lethargy, irritability, difficulty in breathing, diarrhea, high-pitched crying, skin rash, swollen joints, stiff neck, sore throat or seizures.
Keep your baby hydrated by giving him\her lots of fluids as this will help the body cool itself.Don’t let your baby overexert, he\she should get plenty of rest.
If your baby is shivering put an extra blanket on her but make sure to remove it once the shivering stops.
If your baby’s temperature is above 102F the doctor may recommend paracetamol. Never administer aspirin to infants as it has been linked to Reye’s syndrome which is a severe illness and is often fatal.
In rare cases fever can lead to febrile seizure in babies, call your doctor immediately if that happens. While waiting for the doctor keep your baby upright, make sure she’s breathing well, keep the airways open, loosen the clothing to prevent discomfort or injury and if your child is vomiting then tilt her head to one side so she doesn’t choke on inhaled vomit.