Fever is a defense mechanism the body uses to fight infections, and it is frequently associated with childhood illnesses. Fever isn't a disease, but rather a symptom often associated with others: pain, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, fatigue, etc. An elevated body temperature increases the body's metabolic rate. This slows down the multiplication of germs, and helps the body fight infection.
A body temperature that is consistently above the normal temperature range is called a fever. Fever alone is not an illness, but a symptom. A fever in a baby less than two months of age should be evaluated by your child's doctor.
Monitor your child’s temperature regularly, including during the night. If there is high fever, increase the frequency up to once an hour. Note the different measurements and the time in order to provide your doctor with this information.
- Dress your child in light clothing, such as light cotton and cover with just a sheet.
- Make sure the temperature in the room does not exceed 19ºC/20ºC. Avoid draughts.
- If your child is not suffering from diarrhea, give liquids to prevent dehydration: water, fruit juice diluted with water, vegetable soup, or small quantities of milk.
If you're concerned about your child's fever, for whatever reason, always consult your doctor for advice. If the fever is very high or accompanied by other serious symptoms, call your doctor immediately.
Each of us has our own normal temperature range, and it’s a good idea to know what it is. Why? Because it helps you determine when you actually have fever, and when you do, it’s useful for your doctor to know what your normal temperature range actually is.
In fact, it’s a good idea to record the normal temperature range of all members of your family. Your normal temperature range can vary slightly depending on how the measurement is taken and your age. The most effective approach to determining your normal temperature range is to measure your temperature several times per day on consecutive days using the same measurement method. You should, of course, be healthy when this is done.
If a family member seems to be ill, check for fever by taking his/her temperature. Using a thermometer is, of course, much more accurate than guessing by touch. Taking temperature measurements every few hours will show whether he/she is responding to a particular treatment. This information can be useful for your doctor too.
If you determine that your baby has fever, you have to be more careful. If your baby is less than two months old or showing other signs of illness, or if you don’t know what to do, contact your doctor immediately.
Most importantly, remain calm, monitor your baby’s fever and other symptoms, and wash your hands frequently to prevent the spread of infection to other members of the household.
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.