Fever is a frequent symptom of childhood ailments. Does it always require treatment? Which methods of subduing fever cause less harm to a child body?
Any doctor will say: in case thermometer shows less than 38 C, fever should not be subdued. After all, fever indicates child body is fighting against infection. Hyperthermia (high temperature) causes production of substances that neutralize viruses, firstly - interferon. The peak of interferon production comes to the 2nd-3rd days of illness, and if one does not interfere with the body, SARS successfully disappears in three days.
When a loving mom becomes panic-stricken and subdues temperature at already 37.5 C, the disease can last for a week or two! However, if a baby temperature is above thirty-eight, you should take action. Of course, all children are different: one endures 39.0 C calmly and the other may lose consciousness at thirty-seven.
Drugs to help
It is believed children under 14 years should not be given antipyretics based on aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid). This component provokes bleeding. According to some studies, aspirin can cause brain and liver damage in children. Also, doctors do not recommend subduing temperature with analginum because of its toxic effect on the body.
If your doctor does not mind, you can give a child medicine containing paracetamol. Please note: the effect of antipyretic agents in the form of suppositories is longer than that of drugs in the form of suspensions or tablets. Anti-fever syrup starts action within 20 minutes after ingestion, suppositories - within 30-40 minutes. If you are used to subdue baby fever with syrup, choose the one not containing dyes and fragrances: they can cause allergy. Before taking this or that medication, always consult your physician.
What to do
Wipe baby’s body with a damp sponge right in a bed. You can use vinegar solution (vinegar mixed with water 1:1). Ensure a baby drinks much liquid, intake rate should exceed usual by 20-30%. Do not wrap a baby up: put on light pajamas and cover a baby with a thin blanket or bed sheet.
Avoid feeding a child by force, let him choose what he want to eat. If a baby has severe headache, you can put ice wrapped in a towel or diaper on his forehead. And remember: no drugs, no wiping reduce baby fever to a normal temperature. If he had a temperature of 39.5 C, it will drop no lower than to 38 C.
If your child has at least one of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately! Urgent medical assistance is necessary, when:
- Dehydration: hollow eyes, decreased urination or dry diapers, hollow fontanelle in children under one year, no tears when crying, dry mucous membrane in mouth, dry tongue, severe drowsiness or unusual excitement, characteristic unpleasant odor from mouth.
- Cramps, purple rash or bruised eyes.
- Apathy, drowsiness, lack of response to attempts to wake a baby.
- Severe headache that cannot be relieved by analgesics and antipyretics.
- Persistent vomiting or uncontrollable diarrhea (more than 3-4 times).
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