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What is fever?

Fever can be a very scary thing for parents, particularly for first-time moms and dads. Every child will eventually experience a fever, no matter how careful you are.

It is important for parents to know what to do when this happens. First, some tips on measuring the child’s temperature:

  • A variety of thermometers are available, from standard oral thermometers to the newer temporal artery scanners. They can use any of these devices, but a digital thermometer is generally all they need.
  • It is most accurate to use a rectal thermometer for infants and young children. If they feel uneasy doing this, they should use whichever device makes them most comfortable. In older children, an oral temperature is most accurate, if the child is able to tolerate it.

So what is a fever? We define a fever as a temperature over 100.4º F (38.0º  C). Normal body temperature is 98.6º F (37º C). Everyone’s body temperature varies throughout the day and can differ by age, activity level and other factors. Don’t be alarmed if your child’s temperature varies. The magic number for fever is 100.4º F.

When should one not worry over the child’s fever? We tend not to worry about:

  • Fevers of less than five days if the child’s behavior is relatively normal. no need to be concerned if the child continues to be playful and is eating and drinking normally. (He or she may seem more tired than usual).
  • Temperatures of up to 102.5º F if the child is 3 months to 3 years of age, or up to 103º F, if the child is older. These temperatures can be common, but not necessarily worrisome.
  • Low-grade fevers if the infant or child was recently immunized. These can be normal if they last less than 48 hours.
What causes fever in children?

Fever is a healthy sign the body is working properly to fight and overcome an infection.  Through a chemical reaction, our bodies elevate our core temperatures in effort to stop bad viruses and bacteria from replicating. The most common sources of infection in children are viruses. Young children can often have seven to 10 viral illnesses with fever each year – especially if they are in daycare or preschool, where viruses spread easily among children. The second most common sources of infection are bacteria. Both types of infections, viral and bacterial, can cause fever.

We worry most about fevers in very young children – especially infants less than 3 months old – because their immune systems are still developing. This leaves them at risk for severe infections. In preschool age children and beyond, don’t worry much about fevers unless they last for four days or more, and cause symptoms such as significant listless/irritability, a bad sore throat, worsening coughing or pain with urination.

Should Children be given medicine to lower her fever?

Fever-reducing medicines are not needed for low-grade fevers (99º  to 101º F) unless the child seems uncomfortable or he's not drinking well. Once children’s fever rise above 101.5º F, they generally feel miserable, and fever-reducing medicines like Reprofen will help them feel better. Children may be more likely to drink fluids properly after they have had fever-reducing medicines.

It is important to make sure that parents  are giving their children the correct dose of medicine. Under-dose won’t be effective while over-dosing could be dangerous. Parents should Follow the instructions on the labels carefully and only use the cups  that came with that medicines. Reprofen Syrup is a good example of a fever reducing medicine which  reliefs fever, pain and inflammatory conditions in children

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