Fever in young children is one of the symptoms that cause most concern in parents, to the point of considering it a reason to go to pediatric emergencies. However, most of the time it occurs due to mild conditions and does not require a specific treatment.
This symptom is a response of the immune system to the presence of infectious agents such as viruses and bacteria. Therefore, although it is alarming, it is not always necessary to administer any medication or therapy to reduce it.
However, taking into account that it may be accompanied by other discomforts, it is good to know some measures that accelerate your relief safely. Next, we review some recommendations and the cases in which the doctor should be consulted.
To talk about fever in young children, the body temperature should be above 38ºC. It can often be perceived when children go through episodes of flu, urinary tract infections or intestinal problems.
Offer healthy liquids
Boy drinking water
One of the main measures to support the process of recovery of children before an episode of fever is to provide them with healthy fluids. It must be considered that the increase in temperature can be accompanied by excessive sweating and dehydration.
Therefore, to prevent minors from suffering decompensation, they should be given plenty of water, natural juices and broths. Also, if they have had diarrhea or vomiting, as a supplement they can be given isotonic drinks or serums.
Fever is a simple defense mechanism that activates the body in the face of infectious processes. Because of that, it is not always necessary to use medications to control it. If the child is well and has a fever, you just have to wait for it to pass.
Many parents choose to shelter children too much when they notice that they have a fever. However, far from causing them a benefit, it can be counterproductive. The increase in body temperature can occur when the child is in a very warm environment. Then, to reduce their discomfort, we must try to keep them fresh. If the fever is equal to or higher than 38ºC, it must be removed from any source of heat and put on fresh clothes. The more sheltered they are, the worse they will feel.
For no reason should antibiotics be used without the recommendation of the pediatrician. Although these drugs control bacterial infections, they are not effective against viruses. In addition, they usually have side effects that must be considered before consumption. It is also not advisable to use acetylsalicylic acid or aspirin to reduce fever in young children and adolescents. This drug may increase the risk of Reye’s syndrome, a rare and serious complication that can have fatal consequences.
If the pediatrician considers the use of antipyretic drugs to be appropriate , they should be used according to their indications. In general, they are only advised when the symptom is accompanied by pain and general malaise. Ibuprofen and infant paracetamol are often recommended. However, there may be other pharmaceutical measures depending on the underlying cause of the fever. The age and weight of the child are taken into account for their doses; therefore, it is convenient to consult.
Under no circumstances should you try to lower the fever in young children with cold water baths, ice packs or alcohol rubs. Abrupt drops in temperature are harmful and interrupt the ability of the fever to act as a defense. However, a shower with warm or lukewarm water can refresh the child, which decreases some discomfort. To increase their well- being they can be given a short bath in the morning or before taking them to bed.
If the fever in young children marks a degree equal to greater than 40 ° C, it is essential to see a doctor as soon as possible. The intervention of the pediatrician should also be requested if the symptom lasts for several days or if there are signs of complications such as:
In summary, it is not always necessary to worry about the fever in young children. Although it may indicate an infection , it almost always goes away without the need for treatment. However, in case of any alarming symptoms, it is best to consult the pediatrician.
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