As parents, we always want the best for our child. Using a baby thermometer only for you to find out that your baby might be having a high fever usually causes panic, especially to first-time parents.
But, fever is actually a normal bodily process. It just tells you that their immune system is working as intended. You see, we are constantly bombarded with foreign bodies that may cause harm inside our internal systems.
Of course, there are other causes that are still considered normal as well, such as when your baby is teething, if they are experiencing a growth spurt, among a host of other things. In this article, I will go over some information about child fever that you should know about.
What is Fever?
Our body’s internal thermostat is regulated by a part of the brain known as the hypothalamus. It is the one that sends signals to the different parts of the body to help regulate our internal temperature. The normal human temperature is 37C or 98.6 F and it may increase depending on the time of day, as well as the activities that your child is doing such as play and exercise.
During the day, our internal temperature is usually lower and it may increase during the night. Again, it also depends on the physical exertion level of your children as it can also contribute to an increase in their body temperature as well.
As mentioned earlier, the body increases its temperature as a means to kill off invading pathogens that may cause harm inside our bodies. By increasing the body’s temperature, it may not suitable for these bacteria or viruses to proliferate, thus killing them in the process.
What Causes It?
So, what exactly causes high fever? Well, that can be due to a variety of different things, including:
- Infection- By increasing the body’s temperature, it can help kill off any infection that is looming to run its course
- Immunizations- Babies who’ve just had their vaccinations may experience a fever shortly after. This is just a normal response and should not be a cause for concern
- Overdressing- If you are in a predominantly cold environment, a higher temperature might be a way for your body to keep warm. However, fever due to overdressing may occur and may require medical attention if everything goes out of hand
- Teething- When your baby begins to grow their teeth, it may cause a sudden increase in body temperature. Again, this is not a cause for concern and it is quite normal.
When Should You Call the Doctor?
Other than the things that I’ve mentioned so far, you should only call the doctor when:
- If your baby is three months old or under and has a fever of at least 38C, then you need to notify their doctor as it may be caused by an infection
- For babies 3 months and above that has a rectal temperature of 39C or higher, consult with their doctor to find out what needs to be done.
- If your baby doesn’t seem to be in the mood to play, is not eating well, is not at all smiling at you, or is exhibiting things that are ‘off’, then you may need to consult with their pediatrician as well.