Fever in babies often makes parents worried. Not a few parents immediately rush to take their baby to the doctor when he has a fever. In fact, fever in infants is not always dangerous and can be handled independently at home.
Basically, fever is a sign that the baby’s body is fighting an illness or infection. The appearance of this fever is considered as evidence that his immune system is working properly. Babies can be said to have a fever if their body temperature reaches 38 degrees Celsius or more.
What to Watch Out for When Fever Occurs in Babies
Although fever in babies does not always indicate a dangerous condition, there are some serious signs that you should be aware of when your little one has a fever, including:
• No appetite or not wanting to breastfeed
• Looks lethargic and uninspired when invited to play
• A rash appears on the skin
• Vomiting or diarrhea
• Shortness of breath or seizures.
In addition, a fever can also trigger dehydration which is characterized by symptoms, such as dry mouth, no tears when crying, infrequent or no urination after a few hours, or the diaper is not as wet as usual.
If a fever in a baby is accompanied by some of the signs as above, especially babies who are less than 3 months old, immediately consult a doctor for proper treatment. Doctors may need blood tests or urine tests to see if there is a serious infection, such as meningitis or pneumonia.
For babies over 3 months old, you can take him to the doctor if the fever doesn’t go down or gets worse within 24 hours or if he seems very weak because he doesn’t want to eat or drink.
How to Measure Baby’s Body Temperature
To find out if your baby has a fever or not, try measuring his temperature using a thermometer. It is recommended to measure the baby’s body temperature through the anus, because that part is considered more accurate than the mouth, armpit, or ear. After all, the anal thermometer is also easier to use on your little one.
Before taking your temperature, you should make sure the thermometer is hygienic. Before use, wash thoroughly with soap and rinse with clean water.
Place your baby on his stomach in your arms, then slowly insert the thermometer that has been smeared with petroleum jelly into the anus to a depth of about 2.5 cm.
Hold the thermometer for 2 minutes. If using a digital thermometer, hold it down until you hear a notification sound from the thermometer. After that, pull it slowly and read the results.
In addition, now you can also use an infrared thermometer to measure your little one’s body temperature. This thermometer is easy to use, can provide results quickly, and is safer to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
How to Overcome Fever in Babies
To deal with fever in babies aged 3 months and over, there are several simple ways you can do as an initial treatment at home, including:
1. Take a bath with warm water
A warm bath can help lower the baby’s body temperature, facilitate breathing, and make the baby’s body more relaxed. When bathing a child who has a fever, make sure the water used is warm enough, not too hot or too cold.
2. Wear comfortable clothes
Try wearing your little one in baby clothes with comfortable materials and not too thick. This can make his body feel cool and not hot. If he shivers, cover him with a cloth or baby blanket made of light.
3. Keep the room temperature
Make sure the room temperature remains cool and comfortable for your little one by turning on the air conditioner or fan. The ideal room temperature for babies is around 20–22 degrees Celsius. However, try not to direct the air conditioner or fan directly at your little one’s body so he doesn’t get cold.
4. Meet the needs of body fluids
When your little one has a fever, he still needs to be given enough to eat and drink. To prevent him from becoming dehydrated, give your little one adequate fluid intake, such as breast milk, formula milk, or water.
5. Give fever-reducing drugs
If necessary, you can give your child a fever-reducing medication, such as paracetamol. However, you should first consult a doctor before giving any medicine to the baby.
By doing various ways to deal with fever in babies as above, it is hoped that the condition of the Little One will quickly improve.
However, if various ways to reduce fever in infants as described above do not succeed in reducing your child’s fever, or if your child’s condition is getting weaker, you should immediately take him to the nearest hospital or doctor for further examination and treatment.