Fever Symptoms

Fever is when your body's temperature exceeds 98.6 Fahrenheit, which is normal body temperature. It is usually a reaction to the body's immune system being activated to fight off something.

 

Fever is a means by which the body alerts your child that something is wrong. Fever is not an illness in itself; it is just a healthy, natural way your child's body alerts him or her to the presence of something awry. It can be the result of an infection, bacterial or viral, or the result of an immunization; in babies, it can even be the result of too many layers of clothing, since young children cannot regulate their body temperature normally yet. Sometimes infants going through teething can acquire a slight fever, but it usually does not rise past 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Symptoms include: flushing of the cheeks and body, chills, dehydration, lack of appetite and movement, skin that's hot to the touch. A more severe fever can entail difficulty breathing and sweating profusely (the latter usually happens when the fever starts to drop, generally a good sign); it should be monitored very closely, as a fever that rises too high can cause convulsions, brain damage and death.

Fever Treatment

Usually, if the fever is below 102 degrees, home treatment will suffice in the care of the child. Stripping your child down to little or no clothing, applying warm cloths to forehead, prompting them to drink lots of water (to combat dehydration), and just letting the fever run its course will work out to the best interest of the child. Since fever usually is the by-product of another problem, though, it is always best to take your child in to see the physician and to monitor your child to make sure he or she is not developing worse symptoms. Sometimes, it also helps to give your child small doses of acetaminophen, since that is proven to help combat high temperatures, but always check the dosage before you give your child medicine.

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