The Truth About Your Baby’s Fever
It’s something that every new parent dreads — watching helplessly while their bundle of joy is sick.
Seeing your baby battling an illness is scary, and a fever can be particularly scary because it can make
your baby so uncomfortable.
And that’s why you need to know the truth about your baby’s fever. Once you do, you’ll be much better
prepared to deal with it.
First things first — a fever isn’t an illness. Instead, it’s a sign of an underlying illness. More specifically,
it’s the body’s way of trying to fight off an illness. Recent studies have shown that when body
temperature rises, it actually helps certain immunity cells work better. Even better, it’s much harder for
germs to reproduce in higher temperatures, meaning that a fever can prevent an illness from getting worse.
Unfortunately, though, that’s not how most people treat a fever — especially when their baby is the one with it.
A baby with a fever will likely be cranky, won’t be able to sleep well, won’t want to eat, and will look and
act lethargic. Because parents tend to panic when they see these symptoms pop up, clinicians typically
opt for medication to lower the body temperature. But taking things like aspirin to combat a fever is a
classic example of treating the symptom and not the cause.
So, what SHOULD you do when your baby has a fever?
The first thing to remember is that a very high fever, can potentially damage your baby’s brain so first and foremost, even before calling for help, help keep your little one safe by putting a cool ( not cold ) rag/cloth of some kind on your baby’s forehead and wrap is gently around their head.
This will give them immediate relief and you may see it almost immediately in how they start to relax and the breathing becomes a bit more normal.
So, what do we do now? Conquer the fever? Or let it Rage ?
Perhaps, instead of trying to get rid of it, why don’t we let the fever do what the baby’s body intended to do which is — to fight the infection by making the body a very inhospitable place for the viruses to either multiply or stay.
But this doesn’t mean your baby has to sit and suffer. Other than the cool cloth, there are other things you can do to help make your baby more
comfortable without getting rid of the fever, including:
- Making sure your baby gets plenty to drink. Dehydration will only make your baby feel worse, and if
- he gets dehydrated enough, it can be downright dangerous.
- Giving your baby a lukewarm bath instead of a hot one. This will help him cool off a bit, without forcing the fever away.
- Dressing your baby in light clothing, and replace his normal thick blanket with a lighter sheet.
- Making sure your baby gets enough to eat. The old wives’ tale of starving a fever is just that — a tale that has no scientific or medical basis. Eating will provide your baby with valuable nutrients that can also help him fight off the illness.
Contact your physician or pediatrician
Of course, you should contact your baby’s pediatrician as soon as possible. After all, babies don’t simply get a fever all on their own.
Your pediatrician can diagnose and treat the underlying illness that the fever is trying to fight. Consider it the ultimate 1-2 punch!