Fever in children: What is behind it? What can parents do?

If the child appears grumpy, tired and dull, a feverish infection may be announced. Some children have abdominal pain and nausea, sometimes associated with vomiting. For others, headaches and body aches are in the foreground. The next time you have a cough and runny nose or the child is just whining, freezing and has no appetite. When the temperature is measured, fever is often noted.

Children more often affected by fever than adults

Children are much more likely to have fever than adults. It is usually a concomitant, a symptom of a disease, and a protective response of the body to the infection. Often it is not immediately apparent why a child had a fever for one day or just one night. High fever, on the other hand, is a clear sign of illness that needs to be taken seriously.

A fever is when the temperature is 38.5 degrees Celsius (° C) or more. For some children, however, temperatures between 38 ° C and 38.5 ° C indicate a disease. In the morning, the temperature is usually 0.5 ° C lower than in the evening.

Common causes of fever

  • bladder infection
  • appendicitis
  • bronchitis
  • Meningitis (meningitis)
  • Infections of the upper respiratory tract
  • lung infection
  • Gastrointestinal infections
  • Otitis
  • Pfeiffer's glandular fever (mononucleosis)
  • Viral infections, such as certain childhood diseases

What can be done against fever?

In most cases, and especially in children, heat-absorbing wraps, such as the classic calf wrap, help. But you have to pay attention to a stable cycle. In the pharmacy, various antipyretic drugs are available, even without a doctor's prescription. In small children, the administration of antipyretic drugs in the form of suppositories, juice or effervescent granules recommended because tablets can not be swallowed. In this way, the substance can act very quickly and the children can not (simply) oppose the suppository gift especially.

Elderly children often reject suppositories. Suppositories can also trigger a bowel movement. Then it is not sure if the residence time of the suppository in the rectum sufficient for the absorption of the drug. Suppositories should be inserted deep into the anus, if possible after defecation.

Juices have the advantage that the dose can be well adapted to the age and body weight of the sick child. The use of effervescent granules is more suitable for older children. For all active ingredients: They are dosed depending on age and body weight. For the appropriate dosage information, please refer to the respective package or ask your doctor or pharmacist.

When to fever to the doctor?

If fever persists for more than 24 hours, you should consult your doctor. In infants, fever may be the only symptom of a disease. The severity of the fever-causing illness can be very different. The spectrum ranges from a simple cold, to a dangerous meningitis. Therefore, fever in a baby should always be evaluated by a doctor.

The pediatrician should also be visited or called if the fever persists for more than a day, the fever does not decrease despite suppositories and calf, further signs of disease such as diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, rash, etc. added, the fever associated with a febrile convulsion or despite effective antipyretic measures the child continues to be significantly impaired.

10 fever situations that require a doctor

In the following situations, however, it may become possible for the fever to go beyond normal and require a doctor's contact:

  • When the fever begins to damage or endanger the organism (eg febrile convulsion or dehydration)
  • When persistent fever indicates that the organism can not cope with the disease
  • If further signs of disease indicate a serious illness
  • Fever occurs in infants, especially before the 3rd month of life
  • Fever leads to persistent drinking refusal in the child
  • Fever without apparent cause lasts more than three days
  • high fever (in children: from 40 degrees Celsius) lasts more than a day
  • Fever persists despite therapy with antibiotics
  • Fever leads to persistent fatigue and weakness in the child (so-called "reduced general condition")
  • none of the previous points are present, the parents are still worried
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