5 Signs your baby might have a fever

5 Signs your baby might have a fever

As your baby begins to interact with the world, it is not unusual for them to get a mild fever. A fever isn’t an actual illness itself – it might be a sign of one and can be caused by anything from a simple cold, an infection, or your baby’s first vaccinations[1]. The signs of fever in babies can vary according to the underlying cause, but here are some of the most common signs to look out for if you suspect your baby has a fever.

1. Shivering

Feeling shivery and cold on the outside can be an indication of a fever. If you suspect your baby has a fever, check their temperature with a thermometer. It’s important to be able to accurately determine whether or not your baby has a high temperature so that you can look after them properly. If your baby does have a high temperature, dress them as comfortably as possible, encourage lots of rest and keep the room well aired.[2]

2. Appearing hot and flushed

You will usually be able to tell if your baby has a fever just by touching them as their forehead, back or stomach will feel hotter than usual. A flushed face can also be a sign of fever in babies. For an accurate reading of your baby’s temperature, you should use a thermometer. If your baby does have a high temperature make them comfortable and try offering liquids such as water, diluted juice, milk or whatever they usually drink.[3]

3. Irritable

You know your baby best so trust your mother’s instinct. Crying more than usual, or a cry that sounds different could be a sign of fever. Equally, if your baby seems more lethargic this could also be an indication of fever. Keep an eye on your baby and monitor their temperature regularly with a thermometer. If you feel that something isn’t quite right there is no harm in visiting your GP or speaking to a medical professional for advice.[4]

4. Loss of appetite

Loss of appetite can be an indication that your baby has a fever. If you notice that your baby does not want to drink as much as usual or eat if they are old enough for solid foods, it could mean that something isn’t quite right. Offer regular feeds to keep them hydrated and note down how much your baby is feeding, so that you can talk to your doctor if you’re concerned[5].

5. A high temperature

A temperature higher than 38 degrees Celsius is classed as high. If you’re worried that your baby has a fever, you should monitor their temperature with a thermometer.[6] Remember that what is considered normal temperature for the forehead isn’t necessarily the same as normal temperature for other parts of the body, so it’s important to know what temperature your thermometer should be reading depending on which type of baby thermometer you are using. You may find that a smart thermometer, such as the Nurofen for Children FeverSmart™ Temperature Monitor, is a great option for you as it means you can monitor your baby’s temperature constantly and accurately from your smartphone without needing to disturb them. It is important that you always continue to monitor your child’s wellbeing and check for signs and symptoms of illness.

Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional.

More often than not, your baby’s fever will pass after a few days with no complications. A rise in temperature helps the body fight off illness, so although it’s worrying when your baby has a fever, it does mean that their immune system is working the way it should be.[7] However, if they are younger than three months and experiencing any of these fever symptoms, it is important that they see a doctor straight away. If that isn’t possible, go to the emergency room, even if it’s the middle of the night. Equally, if you are concerned about an older child, it is best to seek help from a medical professional, so that you can ensure they feel better as soon as possible.[8]

[1] http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/feverchildren/Pages/Introduction.aspx

[2] http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/feverchildren/Pages/Introduction.aspx

[3] http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/Pages/treating-high-temperature-children.aspx

[4] http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/feverchildren/Pages/Introduction.aspx

[5] http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/feverchildren/Pages/Introduction.aspx

[6] http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/feverchildren/Pages/Introduction.aspx

[7] https://www.nct.org.uk/parenting/what-do-if-your-child-has-temperature

[8] http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/feverchildren/Pages/Introduction.aspx

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