The norm for defining a fever in a child is that it has to be over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. When a child is suffering from fever, the plight of the parents is always quite pitiable. They are scared and feeling very helpless about the situation. It is this feeling of helplessness and panic that causes many a parent to rush their kids to the emergency room, even if it is not warranted. Most of time, cause for the fever can be traced back to a minor infection, but certain type of fevers in kids can be a bit more serious and one needs to be concerned in such cases.
What is a fever? As a norm a fever occurs when the body reacts to an infection. In grownups as well as kids, the hypothalamus reacts to an invasion either by a bacteria or virus by bringing up the temperature of the body. This is due to the fact that most bacteria or viruses will flourish at a round 98 degrees. The increased temperature will make the invading entities weaker and let the immune system combat with the illness
The Types of Fever in Children:
Most of the fevers we get are not permanent. They last as long as the infection lasts. Viral infections, especially related to the respiratory system are the most general reasons for kids getting fever. As a matter of course these manage to clear in less than 7 days. Severe fevers in kids are indicative of a more serious problem than fevers that are temporary, like an inflammatory disorder. Or else these can be the result of teething or due to an infection in the urinary tract. In some rare cases the reason behind the chronic fever may not be identified and these are classified as fevers of undetermined origin.
The course of treatment: Normally the treatment of the fever is done more for relief and comfort. Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen are prescribed to kids so that the fever and the resultant body pains are reduced. You are not supposed to give kids aspirin as it may result in an dangerous condition. You may also have to focus on the real cause of the fever and treat that. In case the cause is due to bacteria like it is for ear infections, antibiotics may be prescribed as the course of treatment.
The help of professionals: With kids below the age of 5 the possibilities of febrile seizures may be there though among a very small percentage. The seizure may cause the child to become unconscious and also sometimes cause convulsions. This can be really scary for the kid and the mother and father. The comforting factor is that most seizures do not have long lasting effects and may not be cause of serious worry. One should treat each such case differently and react as per the doctor’s instructions.
A word of warning: The fact is that a person can get fever at any age. But one should know that there could be difference when an adult gets fever and when a kid suffers from fever. In adults the fever may not be dangerous until it crosses 103 degrees Fahrenheit. But when it comes to kids suffering from fever of even 99 degrees Fahrenheit, it could be indicative of something more serious. For such reasons you should carefully keep an eye on your kid when he/she is suffering from fever. If you see any symptoms that indicate the need for medical attention immediately like eyes that are sunken, diapers that are dry (could be due to dehydration) or if a fever does not show any improvement in spite of medication, continuous vomiting, or stiff neck and headache or difficulty in breathing or any form of seizure or a rash among other symptoms.