Father and Mother may be afraid when they find out that their child has a fever. Sometimes those try to low the temperature quickly in an inappropriate way. However, is fever always at risk? What is the right way to measure and treat fever?
When did Little One get a fever? Normal body temperature is in the range of 36.5- 37.5 ℃. Fever occurs when body temperature≥38℃. However, the results of measuring body temperature can vary slightly depending on the measurement method.
Comparison of temperature measurement methods
Very accurately describes the body’s core temperature (core temperature)
Accuracy approaches rectal temperature, except in children with fast breathing. Tried if the child is cooperative and can suck the thermometer well (4 years)
Different 0.5℃- 1℃ with rectal temperature. It is recommended for toddlers and small children who have not been able to take measurements with their mouths
4. Ears, forehead
Low accuracy and need to be reconfirmed by other means.
Mercury or digital thermometer?
Digital thermometers are recommended because they are convenient, cheap, easy to find, and quite accurate in determining temperature. Mirror thermometers containing mercury are not recommended because of the risk of increasing exposure to mercury if the mirror is broken.
What triggers a fever?
Fever is an indication that often occurs in inflammation due to the body’s response to bacteria, viruses or germs. The most common inflammations in children include:
Inflammation of the airways, eg colds (common colds), pneumonia (pneumonia)
Intestinal inflammation caused by diarrhea and vomiting
In addition to inflammation, fever can occur due to drugs, autoimmune diseases, and cancer. Vaccination can also cause fever, but the time of onset of fever varies depending on the type of vaccination given.
Notes: Teething does not cause fever although it can increase body temperature. The trigger for inflammation needs to be explored before reporting that the trigger for increased temperature is developing teeth.
Tricks to reduce fever in children
Make sure the room temperature is cool and comfortable
Give lighter clothes
Make sure the child drinks more (water, electrolyte fluids) so they don’t lack fluids
Make sure the child is not overactive
Warm compresses ( tepid sponging ) are not supported by solid scientific facts. However, if the child seems unsafe and fever-reducing drugs are not effective, warm compresses can be tried.
Stay away from:
Giving aspirin to reduce fever. Aspirin can cause side effects that are harmful to the liver and brain, namely Reye’s syndrome. Cold compresses because they cause changes in brain temperature regulation, body chills, and body temperatures that are higher. Alcohol compresses because it is dangerous if it is absorbed by the skin and inhaled when breathing.
Does fever medicine need to be given?
Fever is one of the body’s important responses to fight inflammation. The temperature at the time of fever is not always directly proportional to the severity of the disease. In addition, reducing the temperature after receiving the drug does not mean that the inflammation that occurs is experiencing revision. Therefore, reducing fever is not always recommended, especially in children with unless the child feels unsafe and has other signs of danger. The recommended fever medication options are paracetamol and ibuprofen.
When should you go to the doctor?
Fever is thought to require a doctor’s assessment if:
Age less than 3 months regardless of the child’s general condition
Age 3-36 months with fever for more than 3 days or there are signs of danger
Age 3- 36 months with high fever(≥39°c)
All ages with temperature 40°c
All ages with febrile seizures
All ages who have the umpteenth fever for more than 7 days even though the fever only lasts a few hours
Children with chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, lupus, and kidney disease
A child with a fever accompanied by a rash
Characteristics of danger in children with fever :
Unresponsive or difficult to awaken or unable to move
Lips, tongue and nails look bluish
The fontanel appears bulging or concave
There is stiffness in the neck
Severe stomach pain or vomiting
There is a rash or purplish-colored spots like bruises
Does not want to eat or drink and seems too weak to drink
The position of the body leaning forward and unable to control saliva
Urinate less or less