It’s not unusual for parents to be gripped with anxiety and fear when their child gets fever. Experts are advising, though, that instead of immediately resorting to fever medication to bring down their child’s temperature, parents should stay calm since fevers are also the body’s way of fighting infection.
Fevers: Why they happen and why parents shouldn’t be afraid of them Fevers occur as the body’s natural reaction to a disease. Dr. Janice Sullivan, professor of pediatric critical care medicine at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, says that it is more important for parents to ensure their kids’ optimum comfort, to check that they are not dehydrated, and to be on the lookout for signs of serious disease.
Physicians want to make parents learn and be aware that fever shouldn’t be something they’re afraid of, and that it is not a form of illness but rather a “physiologic mechanism that has beneficial effects, such as retarding the growth and reproduction of bacteria and viruses.” It also helps the immune system by boosting the amount of neutrophils (type of white blood cells containing enzymes that fights bacteria and other microorganisms) and T-lymphocytes (another type of white blood cell that regulates the immune system).
Medical experts also want to clarify the myth that mild fevers can cause brain damage in children. In truth, a fever is only considered life-threatening when the child’s temperature is extremely high, like when it hits (degrees?).
Click here to learn at what age it is safe to start giving fever-reducing medication to your child, and a temperature guide on the different degrees of fever.
The C.A.L.M. Procedure: The Association for the Care of Children’s Health suggests to follow these four steps before you give your child fever medications:
C – “Check the temperature.” For babies less than three months old, use a rectal thermometer. For older babies, use an ear thermometer. Make sure to jot down the temperature and the time you took it. If your baby has a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 F), call your doctor or go to the hospital.
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Click here to read more about the C.A.L.M. procedure and to learn how much fever medication to give your child.