Fever in children

Fever or elevated body temperature is the most common reason why parents bring their children to emergency medical centers. Fever is traditionally defined as the condition in which the rectal temperature is above 38.0 C. Temperature measured elsewhere, such as the armpits, is usually lower.

The fever itself does not represent a life-threatening condition, except that the body temperature is not constantly high and for a long time it is above 41.6 ° C on rectal measurement. A fever can be a sign or symptom of a serious illness, but in most cases it is caused by simple infections that are not serious.

A part of the brain called the hypothalamus controls the body’s temperature. It raises the body’s temperature in an attempt to fight infection. However, many diseases and conditions other than infections can lead to an increase in body temperature.

What are the symptoms?

Signs and symptoms can be overt or subtle. The younger the child, the more difficult the symptoms to notice.

Babies may become:

• irritable;
• moodier than usual;
• apathetic;
• too calm;

You will also feel that your baby is too warm and even hot when your hand touches his forehead. He may stop eating normally, cry more often than usual, breathe too fast, change his sleeping and eating habits suddenly, or start having seizures.

Older children who are already talking may complain of:

feeling hotter or colder than other people who feel comfortable in the same room;
• Body aches;
• Headache;
• Lack of appetite;
• Sleep problems or unusual sleepiness;

What are the causes?

• Bacterial infections;
• Viral infections;
• Medications;
• Use of prohibited substances;
• Diseases, related to exposure to heat;

When should we seek medical attention?

• If your child is less than 6 months old, regardless of whether he was born prematurely.
• You are unable to control and lower his body temperature.
• You suspect that your child may be dehydrated from vomiting, diarrhea and refusing to drink any water and liquids. For example, if you notice that his nappies are dry, his eyes are sunken or his skin is too shiny and stretched.
• You have taken your child to your GP, but heis getting worse strong> or has developed new symptoms.

Although you may have done everything to heal your child, sometimes it makes more sense to take them to an emergency medical center.

You must take your child to an emergency medical center if:

• You notice that his condition is getting worse and you cannot contact your GP.
• You suspect he is dehydrated;
• He has a seizure;
• On his skin a purple or red-colored rash appears;
• His breathing is shallow, rapid, or labored;
He is less than 2 months old;
• Has a headache that does not go away;
• Continues to vomit;
• Has a serious illness or is taking any prescription medications for more than 2 weeks.

Treatment of fever in children

Initially treatment at home can be attempted, taking measures to lower body temperature, prevent dehydration and monitor that the child does not develop any serious or life-threatening illness or condition.

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