Fever in Toddlers – Signs, Symptoms, and When to Worry
Toddler fever is something that gets most parents anxious. But the good news is that fever that does not last very long, and is not very high, mostly never causes any harm and is a way for your child’s defence to fight against infections.
Causes of fever in children
A toddler may get fever because of a number of reasons. Some of the common infections that may cause toddler fever are as follows:
Respiratory illness such as bronchiolitis and pneumonia
How to detect fever?
It is easy to know when your toddler has fever. Touch the child’s forehead or stomach; if it is warmer than usual, then he is having fever. Fever lets the body wage against an infection. The normal range for body temperature is between 97 and 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use a thermometer to know what the temperature is. Anything above the normal range is a sign that the child has fever. Digital thermometers are easy to use and are accurate, and all that you need to do is to put it under your child’s armpit with his arms down. When the thermometer beeps, you can take it out to read the child’s body temperature.
How to bring down the temperature?
Fever can, at most times, be treated at home. Ensure that the toddler is hydrated and drinks plenty of fluids. To keep up the energy, it is important that the child eats at least in small quantities. Dress the child right so that he/she feels neither too hot nor too cold. Paracetamol drops can be given to bring down the temperature; however, make sure that you give the correct dosage.
When should you call a doctor?
If the toddler is drowsy or drinks nothing for more than eight hours, and if the fever is very high, which does not come down even after giving Paracetamol, then you should show the toddler to a doctor immediately. If the child is fit and active and is eating properly, then it is not a sign of worry until the fever stays for more than 24 hours or the child has a very high temperature. If the toddler’s body temperature crosses 103 degrees, then the doctor should be called immediately even if the child shows no symptoms. If the toddler losses appetite has cough, vomiting, earache, unusual fussiness, or diarrhea, then you should not delay in showing the toddler to a doctor. The other symptom to look out for is pale or flushed look and less urine. An unexplained rash could be a bacterial infection. If the toddler is finding it hard to breathe or is breathing faster than usual even after clearing the nose, then this could be an indication of pneumonia.
Should you let the body fight fever in children?
Fever is how the body’s defence fights against bacteria and viruses. Fever indicates the body to make more white blood cells and antibodies to fight the infection. Bacteria prefer to stay in high temperatures. If the child’s temperature is very high and he/she is uncomfortable, then his/her body may not be able to fight the infection by him/her. However, if the fever is not very high and is not making the child inactive, then you may consider not giving him/her any medicines to bring the temperature down for at least 24 hours. But ensure that the child drinks plenty of fluids and is hydrated.