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Fever is the temporary increase in the body's temperature in response to a disease or illness.
A child has a fever when the temperature is at or above one of these levels:
100.4(38) measured in the bottom (rectally)
99.5 (37.5) measured in the mouth (orally)
99 (37.2) measured under the arm (axillary)
Normal body temperature may change during any given day. It is usually highest in the evening. Other factors that may affect body temperature are:
Physical activity, strong emotion, eating, heavy clothing, medications, high room temperature, and high humidity can all increase body temperature.
Fever is an important part of the body's defense against infection. Most bacteria and viruses that cause infections in people thrive best at 98.6 F. Many infants and children develop high fevers with mild viral illnesses. Although a fever signals that a battle might be going on in the body, the fever is fighting for, not against the person.
Brain damage from a fever generally will not occur unless the fever is over 107.6 (42). Untreated fevers caused by infection will seldom go over 105 unless the child is overdressed or trapped in a hot place.
Febrile seizures do occur in some children. Most febrile seizures are over quickly and do not mean your child has epilepsy. These seizures also do not cause any permanent harm.
Unexplained fevers that continue for days or weeks are called fevers of undetermined origin (FUO).
Almost any infection can cause a fever, including:
Bone infections (osteomyelitis), appendicitis, skin infections or cellulitis, and meningitis
Respiratory infections such as colds or flu -like illnesses, sore throats, ear infections, sinus infections, mononucleosis, bronchitis, pneumonia, and tuberculosis
Urinary tract infections
Viral gastroenteritis and bacterial gastroenteritis
Children may have a low-grade fever for 1 or 2 days after some immunizations.
Teething may cause a slight increase in a child's temperature, but not higher than 100.
Autoimmune or inflammatory disorders may also cause fevers.
Medications, such as some antibiotics, antihistamines, and seizure medicines
A simple cold or other viral infection can sometimes cause a high fever (102 - 104℉, or 38.9 - 40℃). This does not usually mean you or your child has a serious problem. Some serious infections may not cause a fever, or may even cause a very low body temperature, especially in infants.
If the fever is mild and you have no other problems, you do not need treatment. Drink fluids and rest.
The illness is probably not serious if your child:
Is still interested in playing
Is eating and drinking well
Is alert and smiling at you
Has a normal skin color
Looks well when their temperature comes down
Take steps to lower a fever if you or your child is uncomfortable, vomiting, dried out (dehydrated), or not sleeping well. Remember, the goal is to lower, not eliminate, the fever.
When trying to lower a fever:
Do not bundle up someone who has the chills.
Remove excess clothing or blankets. The room should be comfortable, not too hot or cool. Try one layer of lightweight clothing, and one lightweight blanket for sleep. If the room is hot or stuffy, a fan may help.
A lukewarm bath or sponge bath may help cool someone with a fever. This is especially effective after medication is given -- otherwise the temperature might bounce right back up.
Do not use cold baths, ice, or alcohol rubs. These cool the skin, but often make the situation worse by causing shivering, which raises the core body temperature.
Here are some guidelines for taking medicine to lower a fever:
Acetaminophen and ibuprofen help reduce fever in children and adults. Sometimes doctors advise you to use both types of medicine.
Take acetaminophen every 4 to 6 hours. It works by turning down the brain's thermostat.
Take ibuprofen every 6 to 8 hours. Do not use ibuprofen in children 6 months or younger.
Aspirin is very effective for treating fever in adults. Do not give aspirin to a child unless your child's doctor tells you to.
Know how much you or your child weighs, and then always check the instructions on the package to find the correct dose.
In children 3 months or younger, call your doctor first before giving medicines.
Eating and drinking:
Everyone, especially children, should drink plenty of fluids. Water, popsicles, soup, and gelatin are all good choices.
Do not give too much fruit juice or apple juice and avoid sports drinks in younger children.
1) Stop your daily routine and encourage your child, and your family members, to rest.
2) Provide a safe and comfortable environment for your child to process the illness.
3) Encourage plenty of fluids (water, tea, broth, soup, and breast milk). If your child is on formula, you may need to either stop the formula completely, or feed fewer ounces through the illness.
4) Turn the volume down. Reduce activity levels, noise, excitement, schedules, chores, and tasks to a minimum.
5) Turn the lights down. Maintain a calm, quiet, peaceful environment for your child's nervous system to heal.
6) Stay indoors; play quiet games. Going outside can be too much of an energetic overload for your child's body when sick, and may prolong and intensify the stress on his body.
7) Give your child a warm bath, several times per day if necessary, and stay with your child as much as possible. Lay low, and watch your child closely. Be mindful of cool or cold drafts when getting out of the bath.
8) Regarding supplements, it is best to stop most, if not all of the supplements that your child is taking. You will need to use your judgment in making this decision.
9) Observe your child for mental status changes (see Pediatric Checklist below).
10) Please remember that the resolution of illness can take some time. The more patience you have, the more closely you observe your child, and the more you efficiently remove the stressors in your child's environments, the greater you will impact the length of recovery for your child's illness.
11) You may need to cancel plans, stay home, and not participate in previously planned activities so your child can rest and heal at home in her own comfortable, safe environment.
12) Make the first day your child feels better a slow day. Stay home and rest for the first 24 hours that the symptoms of illness have finally abated. Try not to rush back into the daily routine of life.
What to expect at home
The first fever a baby or infant has is often scary for parents. Most fevers are harmless and are caused by mild infections. Overdressing a child may even cause a rise in temperature.
Regardless, you should report any fever in a newborn that is higher than 100.4%u2109 (taken rectally) to the child's doctor.
Fever is an important part of the body's defense against infection. Many older infants develop high fevers with even minor illnesses.
Febrile seizures occur in some children and can be scary to parents. However, most febrile seizures are over quickly. These seizures do not mean your child has epilepsy, and do not cause any lasting harm.
Eating and drinking
Your child should drink plenty of fluids.
Do not give your child too much fruit or apple juice. Dilute these drinks by making them one half water, one half juice.
Popsicles or gelatin (Jell-O) are good choices, especially if the child is vomiting.
Children can eat foods when they have a fever. But do not force them to eat.
Children who are ill often tolerate bland foods better. A bland diet includes foods that are soft, not very spicy, and low in fiber. You may try:
Breads, crackers, and pastas made with refined white flour
Refined hot cereals, such as oatmeal or cream of wheat
Treating your child's fever
Do not bundle up a child with blankets or extra clothes, even if the child has the chills. This may keep the fever from coming down, or make it go higher.
Try one layer of lightweight clothing, and one lightweight blanket for sleep.
The room should be comfortable, not too hot or too cool. If the room is hot or stuffy, a fan may help.
Acetaminophen and ibuprofen help lower fever in children. Your child's doctor may tell you to use both types of medicine.
In children under 3 months of age, call your doctor first before giving them medicines.
Know how much your child weighs. Then always check the instructions on the package.
Take acetaminophen every 4 to 6 hours.
Take ibuprofen every 6 to 8 hours. Do not use ibuprofen in children younger than 6 months old.
Do not give aspirin to children unless your child's doctor tells you it's OK.
A fever does not need to come all the way down to normal. Most children will feel better when their temperature drops by even one degree.
A lukewarm bath or sponge bath may help cool a fever.
Lukewarm baths work better if the child also gets medicine. Otherwise, the temperature might bounce right back up.
Do not use cold baths, ice, or alcohol rubs. These often make the situation worse by causing shivering.
Do not force your child to eat. When children are sick, or not feeling well, their digestive systems slow down. Food is one of the last things children are interested in when they have a fever or don't feel well. Just ensure fluid intake, and don't push foods. Their bodies will tell you when they are ready to start eating again. And, most importantly, avoid sugar, including juices, flour and dairy products, and fried foods, when your child is sick, as these foods tend to increase stress, dehydration, and mucus production in the body, which will prolong, or worsen, the course of illness.
Foods to eat in fever are- Suggestions-
Nutrition Plan for a healthy child-
It is important to eat the right kind of food for a healthy mind and body. Try to incorporate 6-7 small meals/snacks during the day.
Generally, all food items can be classified into six major groups as shown in the Healthy Food Pyramid.
Immediate Diet Plan
1.Include lots of fresh, seasonal, local and if possible organic Fruits and Vegetables.
2.Add plenty of Whole Grains (whole wheat flour, brown rice, whole beans).
3.Choose foods high in Good Fat such as olive oil, peanut oil, fatty fish, walnuts, flaxseeds. If you do not eat fish, talk to your doctor about taking fish supplements.
1.Cut down Sugary beverages and foods. Do not add any extra sugar to beverages.
2.Refined ingredients like white rice, white flour, maida should be completely omitted from diets.
3.Avoid combination of sugary and refined foods like cakes, pies, ice creams as they do the most harm.
4.Avoid Unhealthy Fats such as Cholesterol, Saturated and Trans Fat. Stay away from egg yolks, cream, butter, ghee, coconut, deep fried items, whole milk, dalda, vanspati.
5.Slash down any intake of carbonated, caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.
Sample Diet Plan
Sandwich/khakra/crackers and cheese (any)
Fruit/milkshake/bhel with sprouts
Pulav/Dal/vegetable/meat/pasta/yogurt/salad/sweet if preferred (all)
Eat Right and Exercise your way to a Healthy Mind and Body.