Children and fever; It is often very frightening for parents when a child suffers from a fever. However, it does not always have to be dangerous. However, due attention must be paid to it. In short, children and fever, how do you deal with them?
Children and fever; a nasty combination
It is very annoying when a child suffers from a fever. For many parents this is a reason to panic, especially if they are young parents. We can say that fever is almost never dangerous. We often hear that people go straight to the doctor when children and fever are mentioned. We are happy to explain to you what fever in children means, to what extent it is dangerous and when you should visit a doctor.
Children have a high temperature and fever. What is the difference?
Everyone gets a raise sometimes, even (small) children. An increase is therefore not the same as a fever. We speak of fever when the body temperature is higher than 38 degrees. If the body temperature is elevated, but remains below 38 degrees, we call it an elevation. Elevation can turn into fever. Nowadays there are many ways to measure the temperature. Think of the thermometer under the tongue, under the armpit and in the anus. Nowadays there is also a thermometer that measures body temperature through the ear. Although it is somewhat unpleasant, it is still advisable to measure the temperature through the anus in children. This gives the most reliable result.
Children get sick and fever is part of that
Children often get sick more quickly than adults. The small body will certainly have to deal with bacteria and viruses that are not wanted in the body on a number of occasions. This could simply be a cold or flu and nothing to worry about. These viruses and bacteria can cause infections in children and fever is often the result. We can say that fever is actually a good sign. This is a signal that the body is fighting the infection, because this is much easier when the body temperature is higher than normal.
Should you go to the doctor immediately if your child has a fever?
Many young parents in particular take their child straight to the doctor when they have a fever. General practitioners fully understand this. Parents who already have several, older children now know that a fever is not harmful at all if no other strange symptoms appear. Does your child suffer from a fever, but does he or she not complain of many other pains and do you not see any other symptoms, for example on the skin? Then there is no need to visit a doctor. The fever is harmless and will go away on its own once the body has fought the infection.
Is it never necessary to visit a doctor?
To avoid misunderstandings, we would like to point out that there are situations in which it is highly advisable to visit a doctor if your child has a fever. In most cases, a fever is not dangerous and is therefore not a cause for concern, but there are situations in which the fever can pose a danger.
It is advisable to visit the doctor if your child has a fever in the following cases:
- If the fever lasts longer than three consecutive days
- If the child is constantly crying and inconsolable
- If the child is under three months old
- When the child takes on a different skin color
- If (blue) red spots or dots appear on the skin
- If the child is difficult to wake up
- If spots appear in the eye mucosa
- If the child becomes much sicker in the short term
- If the child vomits and suffers from diarrhea
- If the child does not want to drink
- If the child has reduced resistance
- If the child has another (existing) illness
- If febrile convulsions occur in the child
- If breathing changes and/or is not constant
We recommend that you always visit a doctor if your child with a fever has other symptoms than the above that cause you concern. As mentioned earlier, GPs fully understand these types of visits and it is always better to be safe than sorry. It is advisable to collect urine from the child if he/she suffers from fever and is younger than two years old. You can get special urine bags for children from your local pharmacy. The GP can check this urine for any alarming causes of the fever.
Do not use medicines to lower the fever!
There are medications on the market that are intended to reduce fever in children. You can of course use these medications safely. Children older than three months can also take paracetamol to reduce fever. You can ask the pharmacy for the correct dosage. However, there are many other measures you can take to reduce the fever. This way you can prevent the child from taking unnecessary medication. To reduce the fever you can do the following:
- Let the child drink well. Moisture is very important in reducing fever. An ice cream also works great. If the child does not want to eat, this is not a cause for concern if this lasts only a day. Drinking is important!
- Do not use thick blankets or duvets, but place the child under a sheet. This gives the body the opportunity to lose heat and lower body temperature. If the child gets cold, you can temporarily cover the body with an extra blanket. Remove these again when the worst of the cold has disappeared.
- Make sure the child gets enough rest. Many children suffer from fever and therefore remain calm. However, it is not necessary to keep the child in bed. As long as you take it easy, then it’s fine. It is also not necessary to keep the child indoors all the time. Fresh air can be good.
- Tight clothing is not recommended if the child has a fever. The best is thin and fairly loose pajamas. This way the body can best lose the heat and it is not retained by tight clothing. Also place the sheet loosely over the child and do not pull it tight to tuck it under the mattress.