Some common questions you might be asking yourself when your child has a fever (fever in children):
• What fever is too high for a child?
• When should a child with a fever go to the hospital?
• When should you worry about a child’s fever?
• When should you worry about a child’s temperature?
• Why we shouldn’t fight a fever in children and what is your child’s body telling you? We will attempt to educate regarding these common symptoms.
If your child’s sweating? Do they have chills and generally feel terrible? Then more than likely, your child has a fever.
A to Z Learning Center and Childcare is going to do a two part blog post that will help to educate everyone on what a fever is, and why it is occurring in (you) or your child. We are also going to outline certain remedies that doctors recommend. In the second blog post we will learn how daycares and childcare facilities respond to children with a fever. This will help to demonstrate how a childcare facility deals with fevers and the actions it must take when dealing with sick children in order to protect the health of everyone in the daycare center. I hope this will be a valuable and an informative reference for you. Feel free to bookmark this page or share it to whoever you think could benefit from it. Another great tip is a natural remedy we found about 10 years ago and it works great! This awesome natural remedy for reducing a fever can be found here . There are more natural remedies listed at the end of this post.
During the day your child’s body temperature will fluctuate. It depends on their level of activity, the duration of activity, and the child’s age. But as we all know, a body’s average temperature is 98.6°F. At night a healthy child (or adult’s) core body temperature will drop slightly which allows us to fall asleep. A temperature above 100.4°F usually means that your child has a fever due to an infection. A temperature above 104°, doctors recommend that your child is seen by his or her physician. Anything over 105° doctors recommend going to an emergency room or and immediate care type facility as soon as you can…do not wait for the morning.
Fever is also known as pyrexia, and it is a very important part of the immune system’s response to an invading bacteria or virus. The immune system produces pyrogens that travel from your
blood to your brain where it reaches the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that regulates body temperature. Once a temperature reaches above average levels,
children are going to complain that they are not feeling well. They are usually tired, exhausted, not doing their normal activities (For example, if they love to play outside/on the
playground…then when given the opportunity to play on the playground — they would rather stay inside…that is a sign that something is not quite right with your child). Children usually feel achy (but that is more of an adult symptom), and they have chills.
Fevers let you know that there is something wrong with you or your child’s body. It could mean that you are run-down and need to rest, need to eat healthier, or perhaps cleanse/detox (for
adults). A fever is signaling that your immune system is breaking down. It is also signaling that there is possibly an invading bacteria or virus. This is a generalization and a fever could be the signs of something more serious depending on your medical history, but these are the most common reasons for an elevated temperature. Once the temperature is elevated for a day or
two, our body needs to build itself back up through hydration, diet, and rest while we are dealing with a fever.
If you or your child start to feel really bad, you could be tempted to take an antipyretic, or what is commonly known as a fever reducing medication like Tylenol or Motrin. The medicine will
override the signals that tell your brain to elevate your body temperature and it will reduce it instead. This sounds like great news, but having a fever is actually a good sign. It means that
your body is beginning to fight off the infection.
I would encourage natural remedies rather than OTC medicine unless your doctor insists that the fever be reduced by medication…or the situation is of a serious nature. Luke warm baths,
sponge baths letting the water evaporate off of the skin, and a product called Calac by Nutri-West are the best remedies we found .
You should always be cautious when trying to bring your child’s fever down. You do not want to bring the fever down too rapidly. Sometimes this can do more harm than good. Try a lukewarm
bath to decrease your child’s temperature and to make your child feel better. But don’t do anything drastic like taking them outside in cold weather with a minimal amount of clothing.
That would not be a good thing to do.
Previously, scientists believed that the elevated temperature might inhibit the growth of some viruses and other bacteria. In one study in the journal of leukocyte biology, they found that a fever allows certain types of immune cells to do their job better. The results show that the mice whose temperature was raised 2°C had more positive T cells than the control mice whose
temperature was normal. These T cells help the body to fight off viruses, disease and some cancers. The study suggests that elevated body temperature may enhance the function of the
immune system. Meaning your child may get better faster if untreated. So the belief that scientists had before this study was somewhat correct. The result was that the patient got
better quicker when the fever was untreated. However, it was not due to viruses being inhibited by the elevated core temperature…it was the fact that the elevated temperature allowed the
immune system to function at a higher level with increased T cells. All of this contributed to the child or patient getting better faster from their respective illnesses.
So, as uncomfortable as it is for your child, you may be better off not treating your child’s temperature. Please keep in mind that this is only recommended for mild fevers . If your child’s
body temperature is between 102° – 108°F, then this is signaling something more serious. This typically occurs in a heat stroke situation or more serious matters. However, as stated
previously, most doctors recommend that any fever over 104°F be treated medically. The child or adult should definitely be seen by a doctor if this occurs, or anything higher than 102°F in my
opinion. I would rather err on the side of caution, or conservativeness, than to have the fever lead into something more serious.
A common misperception is that fevers harm children. Fevers are not going to hurt your child. Everyone should be cautious when a child gets a fever , but it’s not the fever itself that is
going to do any harm. As soon as a parent or daycare worker discovers their child has an elevated temperature, it is very important that the child be in an environment without any other
people while trying to recover. Because the child has a weakened immune system (as evidenced by the fever), you should keep them away from schools, other kids, stores, public
places because your child is susceptible to being infected by something more serious than what they already have. This is the main reason children are asked to be picked up from daycare
when we discover they have a fever. Just know that your child’s health is a primary concern at A to Z Learning Center and Childcare. Getting them out of a potential hazardous environment is
a our highest priority.
There are other reasons for dismissing the child for the day when they have a fever, but we will discuss that in more detail in the next blog post. Until then, I would like to thank you for your time and I look forward to talking more about fevers with you next week! Here is a quick video about fevers — what they are and why we have them. A lot of it is a recap
of what I just discussed…but there are some things of value in there that I didn’t write in this article.
***Please keep in mind that this information is not meant to treat or diagnose any illness. It is not considered medical advice. This information was assimilated using several authoritative references, but is not meant to replace the advice of a licensed pediatric or pediatric physician. Please consult your physician as soon as your child looks ill and is running a fever in order to help them recover and get better faster.
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