Tips to manage Fever, symptoms and treatment in children

  • Dr. Pravin Jain
  • March 09, 2021

Fever symptoms treatment and management in children at home

Whenever a child gets a fever. the whole family gets worried and panicked, trying to find the treatment and management of fever. However, the vital question is whether to treat fever or not to treat fever, what are the symptoms of fever, what are the precautions to be taken, how to manage fever in your child. So let’s understand what is fever.

What is Fever

Generally, the normal body temperature, if checked in mouth, is 98.6ºF (37ºC), but it fluctuates during the day. Body temperature above 99.5 would mean fever. Always measure the temperature of the child to confirm the diagnosis of fever. If the temperature in Axilla (armpit) is over 99ºF, it means that the child is running fever.

Unlike adults, children easily get a high fever, even from a common cold or slight exertion.

Normal situations when the temperature may rise to 101.3ºF or 38.5ºC include

  • Hot weather
  • A hot bath
  • Exercise or
  • Excessive clothing.

Mechanism and symptoms of fever

Fever caused by virus, bacteria and parasite

Fever is not a disease in itself but a symptom. Usually it is a signal that the body’s immune system has been turned on to fight some infection.

Whenever a bacteria or virus tries to invade the body, its immune system (defence mechanism) is triggered to release certain chemicals through which it tries to raise its temperature so that the virus or bacteria do not survive. This phenomenon is similar to the boiling of water to kill germs before drinking it. Actually, a low-grade fever, 101-102ºF, helps in clearing the infection by inhibiting the replication of the virus, so that the body can more effectively fight the infection.

Hence fever should never be treated unless the situation warrants. Mostly among the children fever ranges between 100ºF (37.8ºC) and 104ºF (40ºC), but it is harmless and there is no need for panic.  Viral illnesses, such as colds and flu, are the most common causes of fever. Some of these are caused by bacterial illnesses.

Management of Fever at home

To determine how sick the child is, watch how he or she behaves.

 
You may Contact your doctor immediately if:
 
  • The fever is over 102ºF (40.6ºC)
  • If the fever lasts for more than one day, no matter how mild the fever is.
  • The child is below three months of age
  • The child looks or acts very sick.
  • If the child has difficulty in breathing, looks pale or does not seem normal.
  • If the child has a convulsion.
  • If the child is unable to move or has a stiff neck (even if he feels well later)
  • If the child has repeated vomiting and/or diarrhea and can’t drink water.
  • If only a very small amount of urine is being passed.
  • If the child has hallucinations, confusion or unusual behavior.

How to measure temperature:

 

Infrared thermometer for checking fever

Always use a digital thermometer and place it in the armpit.
 
  • Make sure the armpit is dry,
  • Place the thermometer in the armpit and keep the arm pressed against the child’s body.
  • When it ‘beeps’, read the temperature.

What to do if your child has a fever

Extra fluids: During fevers, sweating causes loss of body fluids. Encourage, but do not force, your child to drink more fluids than normal. Give plenty of water, juice, soup, and tea and other such items to prevent dehydration. Don’t give him cold water or juice from the refrigerator. Infants should be encouraged to breastfeed or formula feed as often as possible.

 
Clothing: Clothing should be kept to a minimum to facilitate the loss of heat through the skin. Bundling can prove dangerous as it will increase the body temperature. If the child has chills during the fever, use a light blanket. Remove excess clothing or wrappings. Light clothing and bedding are preferred. Cover the child with a light sheet rather than blankets or a quilt and keep the room cool.
 
Ensure the circulation of air around the child, but neither use fans nor directly expose the child to the air conditioner.
 
As it is difficult to digest food in high fever, don’t force the child to eat.
 
Sponging: Sponging is usually not necessary to reduce fever. If the child has a fever over 104ºF (40ºC), sponge immediately.
 
If you do sponge the child, use lukewarm water or slightly cold water. Sponge enough to keep the skin surface moist. In case the child shivers, stop sponging or raise the temperature of the water. Do not add rubbing alcohol to the water. As a result of sponging, the child’s temperature will probably not drop below 101ºF or 38.3ºC.
 
Sponge bath: Bathe one area of a child’s body at a time with a washcloth. Keep the rest of the child covered with a sheet or a towel. The neck, groin, underarms, and back are areas that need extra sponging.
 

Treatment of Fever at home

Medicines: Only if the fever is over 102ºF (39ºC) and the child is feeling uncomfortable, give him medicines. This is because mild fever (up to 102ºF) is good for body to fight infections.
 
 Guidelines for prescribing paracetamol (crocin). One dose of paracetamol: 10 – 15 mg/kg.
 
Remember that the fever is helping the child in fighting an infection. Medicines will not bring the body temperature to absolute normal, but would limit it to 100ºF. Be aware that fever will rise again until the underlying illness has run its course.
 
If the fever stays up to one day, contact us immediately.
 
Caution: Do not awaken a sleeping child to give medicine.
 

Fever has several beneficial roles:

  • Fever raises the body temperature above the optimum temperature for the growth of many pathogens. But at the same time, fever slows their rate of growth, reducing the number of microorganisms to be combated.
  •  
  • Fever can heighten the level of immune responses by increasing the rate of chemical reactions in the body. This results in a faster rate at which the body’s defense mechanisms attack pathogens thus shortening the course of infection.
  •  
  • Fever impedes the nutrition of bacteria by reducing the availability of iron. It has been demonstrated that during fever, the macrophages stop releasing their iron stores, which could retard several enzymatic reactions needed for bacterial growth.
  •  
  • Fever makes the patient feel ill. In this condition, the patient is more likely to rest preventing further damage to the body and allowing energy to be used to fight the infection.
    

If you want to treat fever in your child at home with homeopathic medicines Contact us with answers to following questions

  • Is your child too sleepy or just lying down in bed?
  • Is he interested in watching T.V or playing games
  • If you ask him for food or water does he get angry?
  • Does he want you to be around him or does not want anyone to even touch him?
  • Is he too tired and weak to move about or just not interested to move and wants to lie down in bed?
  • Has the child’s activity level come down or is as active as before?
  • Did anyone scold him before he got a fever?
  • Was there any emotional upheaval before he felt sick?
  • Is he taking his normal food or the appetite has decreased?
  • Does he want the light to be switched off?
  • Does he get irritated with noise e.g. TV or music?
  • Is the mouth dry or moist?
  • Is he irritable and cranky?
  • Does he want to be carried?
Dr. Pravin Jain, recommends that the best way of management of fever is prevention and hence always keep the child’s immunity boosted by giving homeopathic treatment for boosting immunity. If your child suffers from recurrent cold and cough, and recurrent fever, then it’s better to start immunity-boosting treatment by homeopathy than give him frequent antibiotics. Dr. Pravin Jain has written bookn of treatment and management of fever “Treatise of Acutes“.

 

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