What happens to the body during fever?
An elevated body temperature increases the body’s metabolic rate. This slows down the growth of germs and helps the body fight infection. The skin may appear flushed and warm as a response to fever, allowing heat to dissipate via the skin.
What is the ideal way to measure body temperature?
Measuring the “core” body temperature would be ideal. The core temperature is the temperature of the vital organs such as the heart and brain. Since these sites are not directly accessible, other sites for temperature measurement have been identified.
What should I do when my child has fever?
Monitor the fever and other symptoms.
If your child has fever, adjust his/her clothing to allow heat to dissipate. Anti-fever medicines can help reduce fever, as can a lukewarm sponge bath. Aspirin is generally not recommended for children with fever.
If your child appears ill, or if you are in doubt, always consult your doctor.
Fever in a baby less than two months of age should be reported to and evaluated by your child’s doctor.
Wash your hands frequently to limit the spread of infections.
What should I do if my child has a febrile seizure?
Febrile seizures can occur in young children, usually under six years of age. Febrile seizures tend to occur if the body temperature is rising very quickly at the beginning of an illness. During a simple febrile seizure, the child may have uncontrollable and rhythmic generalized shaking movements, usually lasting less than five minutes. Afterwards, the child may be sleepy.
Place your child on one side in a stable position.
Loosen any tight clothing.
Do not place anything in the child’s mouth.
Be sure to consult your doctor after any febrile seizure occurs.
When and how often should the temperature be taken?
If your child appears to be sick, take his/her temperature to see if there’s fever. A thermometer is more accurate than guessing with your touch. Repeated measurements can be taken every few hours, or more frequently, as needed to determine whether your child is responding to a particular treatment. This information is often useful for your doctor too.
How often does a baby have fever? Do older children and adults get fevers less often?
Babies and young children commonly have up to 12 infections per year, and seven of those are febrile infections. They are often harmless illnesses, e.g. a sore throat or a cold. But some are more significant, e.g. acute ear infections. They can also indicate life-threatening diseases, such as meningitis.
Children of school age have approximately three febrile infections per year, while adults suffer from approximately two.*
What kind of information about the fever can I provide my doctor?
Fever indicates an inflammation, and the fever pattern may indicate the type of the disease. A single spot measurement doesn’t give enough information to your doctor. It is very helpful if you measure the temperature at home several times and record the results. Note how you measured the temperature and what your normal temperature range is.
Give your doctor information about the maximum temperature measured, the variance during the day, for how many hours the fever was rising and how long the fever has lasted.
Information on this website is not intended to take the place of medical advice, and thermometer readings should not be relied upon as a substitute for your doctor’s diagnosis.