Signs and Symptoms of Fever
Fevers generally do not need to be treated with medication unless your child is uncomfortable or has a history of febrile convulsions. The fever may be important in helping your child fight the infection.
Shared by: kfatimaezzahra5
Signs and Symptoms of Fever A fever is usually a sign that the body is fighting an illness or infection. Fevers are generally harmless. In fact, they can be considered a good sign that your child’s immune system is working and the body is trying to heal itself. While it is important to look for the cause of a fever, the main purpose for treating it is to help your child feel better if he is uncomfortable or has pain. What is a Fever Normal body temperature varies with age, general health, activity level, and time of day. Infants tend to have higher temperatures than older children. Everyone’s temperature is highest between late afternoon and early evening, and lowest between midnight and early morning. Even how much clothing a person wears can affect body temperature. A fever is a body temperature that is higher than normal. While the average normal body temperature is 98.6°F (37°C), a normal temperature range is between 97.5°F (36.4°C) and 99.5°F (37.5°C). Most pediatricians consider a temperature above 100.4°F (38°C) as a sign of a fever. Signs and Symptoms of a Fever If your child has a fever, she may feel warm, appear flushed, or sweat more than usual. She may also be more thirsty than usual. Some children feel fine when they have a fever. However, most will have symptoms of the illness that is causing the fever. Your child may have an earache, a sore throat, a rash, or a stomach ache. These signs can provide important clues as to the cause of the fever. Treating a Fever Without Medicine Fevers generally do not need to be treated with medication unless your child is uncomfortable or has a history of febrile convulsions. The fever may be important in helping your child fight the infection. 18/02/2013 07:49 PM Pdf créé avec la version d'essai pdfFactory Pro www.pdffactory.com Even higher temperatures are not in themselves dangerous or significant unless your child has a history of seizures or a chronic disease. Even if your child has a history of a fever-related convulsion and you treat the fever with medication, they may still have this kind of seizure. It is more important to watch how your child is behaving. If he is eating and sleeping well and has periods of playfulness, he probably doesn’t need any treatment. You should also talk with your pediatrician about when to treat your child’s fever. Treatment Suggestions for Fever • Keep your child’s room and your home comfortably cool, and dress him lightly. • Encourage him to drink extra fluid or other liquids (water, diluted fruit juices, commercially prepared oral electrolyte solutions, gelatin [Jell- O], Popsicles, etc.). • If the room is warm or stuffy, place a fan nearby to keep cool air moving. • Your child does not have to stay in his room or in bed when he has a fever. He can be up and about the house, but should not run around and overexert himself. • If the fever is a symptom of a highly contagious disease (e.g., chickenpox or the flu), keep your child away from other children, elderly people, or people who may not be able to fight infection well, such as those with cancer. Sponging In most cases, using oral acetaminophen or ibuprofen is the most convenient way to make your feverish child more comfortable. However, sometimes you may want to combine this with tepid sponging, or just use sponging alone. Sponging is preferred over acetaminophen or ibuprofen if: • Your child is known to be allergic to, or is unable to tolerate, antipyretic (anti-fever) drugs (a rare case). It is advisable to combine sponging with acetaminophen or ibuprofen if: • Fever is making your child extremely uncomfortable. • He is vomiting and may not be able to keep the medication in his stomach. To sponge your child, place him in his regular bath (tub or baby bath), but put only 1 to 2 inches of tepid water (85–90 degrees Fahrenheit, or 29.4–32.2 degrees Celsius) in the basin. If you do not have a bath thermometer, test the water with the back of your hand or wrist. It should feel just slightly warm. Do 18/02/2013 07:49 PM Pdf créé avec la version d'essai pdfFactory Pro www.pdffactory.com not use cold water, since that will be uncomfortable and may cause shivering, which can raise his temperature. If your child starts to shiver, then the water is too cold. Shivering can make a fever worse; take your child out of the bath if he shivers. Seat your child in the water—it is more comfortable than lying down. Then, using a clean washcloth or sponge, spread a film of water over his trunk, arms, and legs. The water will evaporate and cool the body. Keep the room at about 75 degrees Fahrenheit (23.9 degrees Celsius), and continue sponging him until his temperature has reached an acceptable level. Never put rubbing alcohol in the water; it can be absorbed into the skin or inhaled, which can cause serious problems, such as coma. Usually sponging will bring down the fever by one to two degrees in thirty to forty-five minutes. However, if your child is resisting actively, stop and let him just sit and play in the water. If being in the tub makes him more upset and uncomfortable, it is best to take him out even if his fever is unchanged. Remember, a fever less than 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40.5 degrees Celsius) is in itself not harmful. 18/02/2013 07:49 PM Pdf créé avec la version d'essai pdfFactory Pro www.pdffactory.com
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