Fever in any baby is alarming, but it can be especially alarming if you're a new parent. Fortunately, most fevers are nothing to worry about. However, some do need to be treated with fever-reducing medications and some may require medical attention. Generally speaking, fever associated with symptoms of illness needs to be addressed. If you're baby is acting fine, however, most low-grade fevers do not require any intervention. Following are four facts you should consider about fevers before calling the pediatrician.
Rectal Readings are Most Accurate
When it comes to babies, you can only get a true core temperature reading with a rectal thermometer. What's more, some types of non-rectal thermometers are not accurate and can be off by 1 degree or more. So if you suspect a fever, make sure you get a rectal reading to confirm your diagnosis.
Fever Readings are 101 or Higher
In babies, fever doesn't begin until the reading is 101 or higher when taken rectally. A reading of 99 or 99.9 is not high enough to be considered a fever. If your baby's temperature is a slightly higher than 98.6, the temperature that's considered normal, but below 101, they are likely experiencing normal temperature variations in their body. It's nothing to worry about. Do not bother your doctor for readings below this point unless your baby is visibly sick or in distress.
Fever Is Dangerous in Young Infants
Fever in babies that are 3-months old or younger is always dangerous. If you are getting a rectal reading that indicates a fever of 101 or higher, you should contact your doctor or take your baby to the emergency room immediately. Fever can cause a lot of damage in very young infants. It's not something to be taken lightly or put off.
Viral Fevers are Healthy
Fever is your baby's way of fighting off infection. So a fever can actually be a healthy sign, a sign that your baby's immune system is operating as it should. Try not to panic when your baby has a fever. Unless your baby is very young or they're fever is very high, you have nothing to worry about.
If you're ever concerned about whether or not you should be concerned about your baby's fever, call your doctor, such as at Northeast Wyoming Pediatric Associates Pc. They will be able to give you reassurance that your baby does not need to be seen or direct you to the proper medical care if it does.