Fever is a condition in which the body temperature increases beyond normal (normal body temperature ranges from 36o- 38o C). The Little One can be said to have a fever if:
- The temperature measured with a thermometer in the anus exceeds 38o C
- The temperature measured with a thermometer in the mouth exceeds 37.6° C
- The temperature is measured with a thermometer on the armpit (axilla) exceeds 37oC
Fever is part of the immune system's process against viral, bacterial, or parasitic infections so it is not a condition that’s always dangerous. Fever is a symptom, not a disease. Then, how does Mommy measure the body temperature of the Little One?
Measuring the Little One’s temperature by hand on the forehead, cheek, or stomach of the Little One is not a way of measuring fever. Use a thermometer to measure the increase in your Little One's body temperature. Mommy can use a mercury, digital (fast), or timpanic (put on ear) thermometer. The methods of measuring your Little One’s temperature using a mercury thermometer, are as follows:
- For infants and toddlers: It is best to use a thermometer placed on the armpits (axilla). Place the tip of the thermometer in the middle of the armpit, grasp it with one hand and use the other hand to hold the Little One’s arm against opening. Hold the thermometer for 3-4 minutes.
- Age 5 and above: It should be done using a thermometer placed on the mouth. If the Little One just ate something cold or hot, wait for 10 minutes before measuring the temperature. Lay the Little One down, put the thermometer under his tongue, tell the Little One to cover his/her mouth but do not bite the thermometer. Hold the thermometer for 2-3 minutes.
Mommy can bathe the Little One or wipe his/her body using a warm wet cloth to lower the fever. Sometimes, the combination of a warm bath and fever-lowering medication can reduce the discomfort that your Little One feels.
How to manage things when your Little One is having fever?
- If your Little One is still active, eating and drinking normally, chances are he/she does not need to be given febrifuge.
- Put on a thin clothe or put on only an underwear so that the heat can be released through the skin
- Give compress to the Little One, using warm water on the forehead, neck, armpits, chest. Do not let the compress dry on the body, lift the compress when it is half dry, dip it back in the warm water, wring it out, put it back on the body.
- Avoid using alcohol as a compress. Alcohol can cause heat loss too quickly, causing alcohol toxicity
- Cover the Little One with a thin blanket when he/she feels cold or is shivering
- Take the Little One to rest because activity can increase fever
- Give plenty of fluids, such as water, juice, milk.
- Fever-lowering drugs will make your baby feel more comfortable but do not stop the fever
- Give PARACETAMOL every four hours (6 times a day)
- Give the medicine according to the weight of the Little One
- Provision of ibuprofen should be discussed first with a doctor.
Take the Little One to the doctor if
- The Little One is under 3 months
- His/her body temperature reaches 39oC or more
- There is a fever accompanied by loss of appetite, headache, vomiting or abdominal pain, cry that is more than usual, sore throat, shortness of breath, ear pain, and pain during urination.
Infection can be prevented by applying a clean lifestyle and ensuring the nutritional needs of the Little One is adequately covered. A clean lifestyle will reduce the exposure to infectious diseases that often cause fever. Mommy can also provide additional nutrients that can increase the Little Ones immune system and keep the Little One from various infections, such as nucleotides and lactoferrin, so the Little One is not easy to get sick.