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Fever with red cheeks and a hot forehead is always a clear sign that your baby is fighting an infection. And that is very often the case with infants and toddlers, children have a febrile infection on average seven times a year!
Fever is Not a Disease!
Fever itself is not a disease, but an expression of a defense reaction of the body, so it is also an important training for the small organism. For example, elevated temperatures occasionally occur when the baby has a diaper rash or teeth. But also if it has received too much sun, is dressed too thick or has not drunk enough.
Most episodes of fever are harmless and only last for a few days. If your child is still playing and laughing, and there are no other symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting, you don’t need to worry. However, you should measure the exact temperature, for example in the morning, at noon and in the evening.
Fever Measurement: How it Works
It is best to measure the body temperature rectally in the anus. To do this, grasp the two feet on ankles with your left hand. Hold your index finger between them so that the ankles do not meet, otherwise, your baby will hurt a lot! Then lift the buttocks up a little and insert the metal part of the thermometer into the anus. For children who wriggle a lot, fever measurement is sometimes better in the side or prone position. You can put a little baby cream or petroleum jelly on the thermometer tip beforehand to make it easier to insert.
Wait three minutes and write down the temperature and time. Repeat the measurement about 20 minutes later. After the measurement, it is sufficient to rinse the thermometer warm and dry it. Only if your baby has diarrhea and possibly a gastrointestinal infection at the same time, the clinical thermometer should be cleaned with a disinfectant (or high-proof alcohol).
Newer methods such as the ear thermometer and the infrared fever thermometer for the forehead are suitable for a quick orientation but have not yet proven themselves 100%.
What Temperature is Normal?
The normal rectal body temperature is between 36.5 and 37.5 ° C. It is slightly lower in the armpit. A baby only has a “fever” when its body temperature is 38.5 ° C or higher.
The Best Home Remedies
Elevated body temperature is not uncommon in babies. You only have to intervene as parents if it rises above 38.5 ° C. if there is a fever, then overheating must be prevented. Put on thinner clothes for your baby or just leave them in the diaper.
- As an alternative to the fever suppositories prescribed by the doctor, you can first try out the tried-and-tested home remedy calf wrap (which can also be placed around the chest or abdomen). The prerequisite for this is that your child has warm legs and feet. However, the water should not be colder than 20 ° C. As soon as the wrap is warm to the body, it is renewed.
- On very warm days, air conditioning or a fan can also be used so that the room does not heat up too much. However, the child must not lie in the draft.
- A warm to a lukewarm bath can also be helpful. Coughing and runny nose are no reason to refrain from bathing, on the contrary.
- Alternatively, ablutions can lower the fever to a degree. The evaporative cold leads the heat away from the body. To do this, take warm water at 25 ° C and mix it with the juice of a lemon or 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Dip a washcloth into the water, wring it out well and quickly rub your child’s body with it, hands and arms, feet and legs, stomach and back always towards the heart. Put on your child’s pajamas (without drying them) and immediately put them in the warm bed. You can preheat the bed with a bed bottle beforehand.
- Lime blossom tea helps to exude, which you should dose differently depending on the level of the fever. Scald 1 teaspoon of dried linden flowers with 1/2 liter of boiling water and let it steep for 5 minutes. Then strain the tea. Give your child 1 cup of it three times a day. If you have a high fever (over 39 ° C), you should only use 1/2 teaspoon of linden flowers to brew it.
- Elderflower tea also helps sweat. To do this, pour 1 tablespoon of flowers with a cup of boiling water, let it steep for 10 minutes and strain. Wait for the tea to cool down a bit and let your child drink the tea just before bed.
When Are Medications Appropriate?
The most proven antipyretic drug is paracetamol, which can be given as a suppository or juice. Ask your doctor about the level of fever above which you should administer the medication. In any case, follow the instructions on the package insert and never increase the dosage on your own. The effect starts after about an hour and has reached its maximum strength after three hours.
The next dose may be given after four to six hours at the earliest. A similarly reliable active ingredient is ibuprofen. However, this substance puts a little more strain on the stomach and should not be given to babies under six months.
When do I have to inform The Doctor?
Follow your feeling. If you think there is something wrong with your child, you should always consult a doctor if in doubt. Maternal intuition is very important in such cases and should not be dismissed as nonsense.
In the first four weeks of life, any fever above 38.5 ° C should always be clarified by a doctor. After the newborn period, you should immediately contact a doctor or take your child to a hospital if he has a fever of more than 39 ° C or the temperature rises very quickly (by one or more degrees) and high.
Of course, this also applies if you notice any other abnormalities, such as chills, fever convulsions (seizures), violent crying or screaming, heavy and/or rapid breathing, the blue coloring of the skin and /or apathy, fatigue, sudden rash or secretions from the ear. Even if your baby has vomiting and/or diarrhea, there may be a more serious illness behind it.