The winter season is always accompanied by a large number of viruses that circulate freely in schools and kindergartens. It is common for children to arrive at school with a fever., one of the first signs that you have been infected with a virus. In this situation, Many parents respond to their child’s high temperatures with fever-reducing medication.
But what happens when temperatures are below 38ºC? Although it’s not a high feverand many parents believe that a low-grade fever helps the child’s body fight infections, most of them administer fever-reducing medicationthat, according to the CS Mott Children’s Hospital National Survey of Children’s Health at the University of Michigan (United States), not recommended. According to this survey, half of the parents would use medicine if the fever was between 38 and 39 degrees, and a quarter would administer another dose to prevent the fever from returning.
“Often Parents are concerned that their child has a fever and want to do everything possible to bring the temperature down. However, they may not be aware that, in general, the main reason for treating a fever is simply to keep your child comfortable.
“Some parents they rush to medicate their children, but it is often better to let the fever run its course. Lowering a child’s temperature usually does not help their illness to heal faster. In fact, a low fever helps to fight the infection. There is also the risk of over-administering medication when not needed, which can cause side effects.
How to take the temperature
The method used to take a child’s temperature is important and can affect the accuracy of the measurement. Many parents take their child’s temperature by forehead or mouth examand to a lesser extent they use the ear, armpit or rectal methods.
It’s important to know that remote forehead or ear canal thermometers can be accurate if used correctly, while forehead readings can be inaccurate if the scanner is held too far away or if the child’s forehead is sweaty. Furthermore, Ear thermometers are not highly recommended for newborns, as wax can also interfere with the reading. For babies and young children, rectal temperature is the most accurate. When children can hold the thermometer with their mouth closed, oral temperatures are also accurate, while underarm temperatures are the least accurate.
Regardless of the device used, it is important for parents to review the instructions to ensure that the method is appropriate for the child’s age and that the device is positioned correctly when taking the temperature.
Taking the temperature immediately at the slightest symptom of fever is another of the most common habits among mothers and fathers, while few wait to see if the problem continues or worsens before taking the temperature.
There are also those who prefer to try methods such as a cold cloth before using medicine to lower the fever and it is the majority who control the time of each dose and measure the child’s temperature again before giving another dose.
Pediatric experts believe that many parents would give their child more medication to prevent the fever from returning, even if it did not help the child to get better.
In the case of newborns or babies under three months of age with a fever, it is recommended to consult a health professional immediately.
Sometimes fever can be beneficialand there are even several reasons for letting it run its course in older children, acting as a weapon to kill the disease-causing virus or bacteria.
the fever It is part of the immune response to stop viruses and bacteria from reproducing and also to produce more white blood cells and antibodies.
The second reason for letting the fever run is that itMedications that reduce also mask the symptoms. By masking pain, fever-reducing medications can delay diagnosis and delay receiving treatment if needed.
Another of the immediate effects after medication is an apparent improvement, which leads many parents to take their children outside, when in fact they are still highly contagious and can infect others.
Communication with the pediatrician
at the time that parents contact the pediatrician To explain the situation, it is useful to share with the specialist the chronology of the child’s fever, the doses of fever-reducing medicine and what his behavior is.
But you can also consider other interventions to relieve discomfort and help the child get more restful sleep instead of taking medications. For example, keep the room cool and don’t let him exert himself too much, in addition to ensuring that the child wears light clothes and encourage him to hydrate well with fluids or ice cream.
It’s needed watch for signs in babies and newborns three months and younger. For children aged 4 to 12 months, parents should consult a doctor if the fever is accompanied by signs such as decreased activity, increased restlessness or decreased shivering, as well as signs of pain, or He does not behave well even if the temperature to fall . On the contrary, fevers of 40 degrees or those that last for a prolonged period(more than 24 hours in children under two years of age, or more than three days in children from two years of age) should encourage them to contact the pediatrician.