My family was encountering severe flu on end Nov, it takes us several weeks for recovering. The flu starts from my daughter complaining sore throat which even cause her unable to swallow. The flu virus spread to all family members within a week.
A doctor was visiting us during my son fall into high fever, he furbished us with many relevant knowledge during his consultation and diagnosis to my son. After our recovering, I have putting up some time to summarize some knowledge which I learn about fever. This is how this article being created.
Are you in Fever?
Normal body temperature is for baby: normal baby arm pit temperature fall in the range between 36.0 ℃ -37.4 ℃. However there are slight differences for spring, autumn and winter. The average temperature of three different seasons is 36.6 ℃ in the morning, 36.9 ℃ in the afternoon. During the summer season, the body temperature will raise to 36.9 ℃ in the morning and 37 ℃ in the afternoon. In some occasion, especially during summer season, 50% of a baby arm pit temperature may raise up to 37 ℃. Although the body temperature is higher than other season, through observation, the baby did not have any abnormal conditions. So a slightly high temperature of the baby is not necessarily symptoms of fever, the baby’s parents has to make judgment base on the actual case.
We also notice that the baby arm pit temperature may fluctuate due to other factors. For instance in the evening, the baby’s body temperature tends to be higher than in the morning. While baby eating, crying or after exercise, the body temperature will temporarily rise. If the baby wears too thick clothing, the temperature will rise too. If your baby has this modest fluctuations in body temperature, as long as he is in good condition, mobility and no other signs and symptoms, generally should not be considered sick.
What Body Temperature Consider as Fever?
The baby consider as normal while the baby arm pit temperature fall between 36.0 ℃ -37.4 ℃. When the body temperature raise above 37.5 ℃, at the range 37.5 ℃ -38.4 ℃, this consider as low fever stage. When baby arm pit temperature rise above 38.5 ℃, this considers high fever. At this moment, medication has to apply to the baby or send the baby to hospital for treatment. In occasion, the baby tends to have recurrent fever during the evening or night time.
Parents have to pay attention while the baby experience high fever. If high fever not handled properly, it will cause adverse effect to the baby, such as epilepsia which could lead to child death. In addition, high fever will cause electrolyte imbalance, dehydration which leads to acidosis. There are several hazardous for children high fever:
- High fever cramps: Generally children below 6 months or more than 6 years-old shall not encounter high fever cramp. Only 2-5% of the children from 1 – 6 years-old may encounter high fever cramp. Cramp normally occurs when a sudden surge in high fever, the high fever cramp mostly will happen once. If the parent able to handle properly, the high fever cramp shall not affect children’s health. However, repeated or persistent high fever cramps can cause cerebral hypoxia and brain damage.
- Brain damage due to high fever: In general, fever shall not affect body organ as the fever is the natural reaction from the body to resist inflammation further damage the body. While the temperature raise above 41 ℃, the protein in the body will further breakdown into other substance, this causing cerebral edema, the child may death because of encephalopathy In this scenario, we have to take immediate action while a child’s fever raise beyond 40℃.
- Dehydration: During summer season, moisture will evaporate more via child breathing and skin evaporation than any other While during fever stage, every increase of 1 ℃ temperature, the body will evaporate 0.5ml of water per kilogram of body weight per hour. The body will lose much more water especially we are taking the fever medicine and may cause dehydration. Dehydration will affect body metabolism and blood circulation (dehydration itself can cause fever for infant), and also cause acidosis. Therefore, children must be encouraged to intake more water while under fever stage, in some cases, doctor may instruct for transfusion.
- Hypernatremia or hyponatremia: During early fever stage due to dehydration, blood’s sodium concentration raise, will cause dry mouth Patient may feels very thirsty, irritability, unconscious or even cramps. Heat will rise even higher. After several days of fever, the patient may encounter poor diet, hyponatremia, tiring or even unconscious. These symptoms common happen on malnourished infants.
Other Symptoms during Fever Stage
Cold hands and feet during fever stage: During baby fever stage, the baby body temperature regulation is poorer; this will cause the hands and feet cold symptoms. This is a normal scenario and parents need not worry too much.
Causes of cold hands and feet while baby fever: During fever stage, cold hands and feet are the symptoms for fever. This symptom normally happens on child below 3 years-old. This is because the baby (especially infants) has less blood circulation at the finger and feet.
In addition, the development of the baby’s nerve system is not yet perfects, blood vessel may contract and lead to less blood circulation on finger and feet.
Some parents do not understand this situation, when they found cold hand or leg, they misinterpret the baby is getting a cold. The parent even tightly wraps the baby with thick blanket. The baby’s body temperature unable to disseminate and the temperature will rise higher, this will lead to high fever or fever cramp.
Baby having fever and cold hands symptoms: Parent could give the baby drink warm water, maintain good indoor ventilation. Cold hands and feet are usually symptoms of fever. If the baby body temperature does not exceed 38.5 ℃, apply physical cooling maybe sufficient. When the body temperature beyond 38.5 ℃, medicine should apply to avoid develop into bronchitis and pneumonia. Visit doctor and perform blood test, to check whether there is any inflammation.
Rash after baby fever:
Children acute rash, also known as roseola or rash, is caused by a viral infection. It can occur throughout the year, especially common see in spring and autumn season. Children acute rash incubation period is about 10-15 days. Although it is a contagious disease but consider is may not be widely spread as measles or chickenpox infection.
Children acute rash mainly happen in infant between 6-18 months-old. The rashes will just appears within several hours, meanwhile comes together with a body temperature rises at 39 ℃ to 40 ℃. Patients with high fever may associate with early severe seizures, with some slight running nose, cough, eyelid edema. The patient may comes along with poor appetite, nausea, vomiting, mild diarrhea or constipation, together with throat inflammation.
Fever after three to five days especially while the body temperature reduce to normal, baby body may appears various reddish rashes, the rash will start from chest and abdomen, and soon spread to whole body. The rash in medicine called “fever rash”. The fever rash is having 5-15 days incubation period, there are 2 stages of following symptoms:
- Body temperaturereaches39-40 ℃,but the babyin good condition.2) come along with febrile seizures, cough,swollenlymph nodes, earache and other symptoms.
- 4 daysafter fever, the symptoms are:1) the temperaturequickly returned to normal. 2) small , clear pink colour rash located at head and body area, it may last for four days.
Causes of baby fever:
- Cold : Cold or flu is the most common diseases for baby. Cold symptoms varies, normally comes together with fever, loss of appetite, stomach upset, diarrhea, ENT problems.
- ENT inflammation: ENT problems often relate to inflammation by viral infection, it comes along with swelling effect. May have fever, cough, running nose, throat irritation (babies are often reluctant to eat) and other symptoms.
- Roseola: Typical symptoms with high fever (39 ℃ above), lasts about 3-4 days, then rash (when fever recede) will slowly disappear, leaving no scars, no other complications, parents need not worry.
- Vaccination: We have seen many incidents that the baby may encounter low fever after the vaccination especially after vaccination for “diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus”. We recommend baby not suitable for vaccination while having flu symptoms, this is to avoid misinterpretation during the diagnosis stage. The baby shall with close custody and observation for 72 hours after the vaccination. If any flu symptoms appear after 72 hours, the flu may not cause by the vaccination.
What shall we do while baby fever above 38.5 degree:
The baby shall go to hospital for further diagnosis and medication while the baby temperature is beyond 38.5 ℃ especially the baby has a history of seizures.
Within 1 years- old baby, preferably with drops, as drop has minor irritating to baby. For 2 years-old and above, recommend select oral antipyretics solution. Elder child could consider chewable tablets with fruit flavored.
What shall we do while baby fever below 38.5 ℃:
Baby fever below 38.5 ℃, recommend apply with physical cooling. Parents should pay close observation, analyze the reasons of fever while performing physical cooling. Do not rush for medication as it may mislead the cause during diagnosis.
Fever is a nature human body reaction to defense further invaded of virus or bacterial infection. During inflammation, it will accelerate blood circulation, strengthen metabolism; this include enhance of liver detoxification to inhibit the growth and reproduction microorganisms in the body; white blood cells and limb cells will destroy pathogenic microorganisms to promote inflammation subsided.
Baby fever is most common and difficult moment for parents, and always wanted to find a way to reduce baby’s body temperature. In reality, parents are advice to calm down, identify the cause of baby fever, takes appropriate action reducing baby fever symptoms.