You never know when your baby can go down with a fever. There are several causes and fever can depend on the season. Come summer and there is a general outbreak of fevers caused by a gastrointestinal virus, commonly referred to as a stomach bug. This bug can leave your baby purging and vomiting (diarrhea) and the baby can also have bouts of fever. Keep a thermometer handy just to check and see that the fever does not go very high before you rush to a doctor.
The Winter Fever Culprit
During winter there’s a different kind of virus on the prowl. Winter is when babies catch a cold, which can be due to respiratory viruses. Remember that a fever is an indication that something is amiss, and the focus should be on treating the cause for the fever rather than the fever. Whether it is due to a respiratory virus or a gastrointestinal virus, what a fever does is cause dehydration, which is what moms need to be more concerned about.
What’s a Fever?
Most of us know that a fever means increased body temperature. The average body temperature hovers at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius). How did we arrive at this figure? Though none of us would have given a thought to this, there is an interesting story behind it.
In the mid-nineteenth century, there was one Carl Wunderlich who went around measuring the temperature of many people, thousands, actually. He measured their temperature as many times until he came up with the magic figure 38.6, which has stuck ever since as the normal temperature for a human being. The truth of the matter is that our body temperature is never stable and can vary by a degree or two in the course of a day.
The medical fraternity defines a fever as a temperature that can be as high as 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius). When it comes to babies under the age of two doctors and nurses recommend measuring a fever through rectal temperature. At home though, it is easier to use a Baby Doppler FOREHEAD and EAR thermometer, which is authentic and accurate and is approved by the FDA. Moreover, moms might find it a tad distasteful trying to get a rectal temperature from their darling little ones.
What next after a fever is detected?
Mothers need to remember that with babies under two months of age, a fever is an indication of some form of infection. Your baby may look perfectly OK but is hot to touch. That’s when you need to measure the temperature and jot it down. Keep checking two to three times every hour, and if the fever is still high it is better to take your baby to a doctor, who will recommend further tests if required. The important thing is to have a thermometer handy to measure the fever to know the exact degree.
Fevers can scare moms
Most moms tend to panic when they detect a fever in their little ones. Our bodies have a built-in thermostat, which is the hypothalamus in the brain. This is what controls the body temperature and causes it to increase whenever there is an infection caused by a virus or bacteria. This is the body’s defense mechanism at work, and the fever normally breaks when the infection is fought against and cured.
Mothers shouldn’t be scared each time the baby has a fever. There is a misconception that an untreated fever can lead to a seizure. Not all fevers lead to seizures, it is only a minuscule percentage that ends up getting seizures. Whenever your baby develops a fever but seems to be happy and playful, there is nothing to worry about. Just keep monitoring the fever and go to a doctor only if the fever persists.