Signs of discomfort are often the first signs of fever. Fever is when the body's temperature rises above normal (usually varies between 35.8 and 37.4 degrees Celsius). A temperature of 40 degrees Celsius is considered high fever. This rise in temperature is a part of the body's way of attempting to kill any infectious agents in the child's system.
How To Recognize Fever in Children. Fever may vary according to the underlying cause, but some signs to look out for include:
- Hot and flushed all over.
- Irritability or crying.
- Listless or lethargic.
- Restless during the night.
- Loss of appetite.
- Uncontrollable shivering.
- Sudden vomiting.
- Whining, complaining or clinginess.
How To Manage Children's Fever.
- Dress child in light clothing. For babies, use only a light blanket or single sheet in their cot.
- Cool the room. Open windows and ensure rooms are well-ventilated (but not draughty or cold).
- Encourage fluid intake. Water (milk for babies) compensates for fluid lost through sweating.
- Soothe a forehead. A cool damp handkerchief or washcloth on the forehead can be soothing.
- Give an antipyretic (fever reducing agent) such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
- Do not give aspirin to children under 16 (as it has been linked to serious illness in this age group).
When To See A Doctor. See a doctor if you are concerned at any time, or if any of the following occur:
- The child's fever is over 40 degrees Celsius.
- The child is less than 6 months old.
- The child's symptoms or elevated temperature last more than 48 hours.
- The child's condition does not improve or worsens.
- The child has a stiff neck, sensitivity to light or a rash.
- The child is vomiting, refuses to take fluid, or has decreased fluid output.
- The child has a febrile convulsion.