5 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Baby FeversMolly Thornberg
Baby Fevers! Yuck!
One of the worst parts of being a mom is having to see your sweet baby with a fever. Babies are clueless as to what’s going on, and it’s up to us moms to take care of the fever and baby.
I will never forget our oldest child’s first fever.
I was frantic, clueless, and a total cliché of a new mom having a sick baby for the first time. Every time my little girl cried, I cried right along with her. I Googled and Googled and feared the worst.
Of course, at the end of the day, I was just worried about my baby. She was fine. My fears were valid but over-exaggerated (Google will do that!).
Here are 5 things I wish someone had told me about baby fevers:
Fever in the first 2 months is no bueno 1 of 5Any baby under the age of 2 months that is running a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher needs to be seen by a doctor immediately, as it could be a sign of a serious bacterial infection. Take your baby's temperature with a rectal thermometer to get the most accurate reading.
Fever can cause seizures 2 of 5Thankfully we have not had to deal with this, but this can happen. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), 2-5% of children between 6 months and 5 years have febrile seizures.
If your child has a seizure (with or without fever), dial 911. A febrile seizure is a generalized tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizure that occurs in some children as a response to a fever. Febrile seizures are usually associated with rapidly rising fevers, and usually occur early in the fever rather than later. Image and seizure information from Medline Plus
A fever doesn’t always result in illness 3 of 5While typically a fever is a sign that your child's immune system is fighting off a bacterial or viral infection, that's not always the case. A heat stroke is possible if your baby has been in a hot place, or if he's overdressed (confession: I overdressed my second child, giving him a near heat stroke #MommyFail).
Sadly, the number one reason for a fever that isn't caused by an illness is from children being left unattended in cars.
When to call the doctor in regards to a fever 4 of 5According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, you should call the doctor if your baby two months or younger has a rectal temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, your child between three and six months has a fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, or if your child older than six months has a temperature of 103 degrees Fahrenheit or greater. Fever in and of itself is not a sickness; it's a sign of sickness. Other signs you should call the doctor: If your child becomes delirious while he has a high fever, or if your child is feverish after being in an extremely hot place. Read more AAP recommendations about when to call a doctor
NEVER give your child aspirin 5 of 5While it may seem simple enough to give a baby Aspirin — DON'T! Aspirin can cause a dangerous condition called Reye's syndrome. Reye's syndrome is a rare but serious illness that usually occurs in children younger than 15. Read more from the AAP about aspirin and how it is related to this syndrome.
If your doctor recommends a fever reducer, typically a baby acetaminophen is recommended for low-grade fevers. If your child is 6 months or older, Ibuprofen is often recommended for fevers above 102 degrees. It can last up to 6 hours, where as Tylenol typically lasts 4 hours. Check with your doctor for the best recommendation for your baby when it comes to reducing a fever.
If you have any major concerns, make sure to call your pediatrician!
What do you wish you knew before your baby’s first fever?