Little ones have a habit of coming down with nasty bugs, but how do you know when to treat symptoms at home and when to get help?
You can normally blame an infection of some sort for your little one’s temperature as it’s the most common cause. You’ll know if he has one if he’s irritable and sweating, or feels hot to touch. You can confirm it by checking his temperature using an electronic thermometer under his armpit.
“If the thermometer shows his temperature is above 38ºC, he has a fever,” says Dr Knut Schroeder, NHS Choices GP and author of Diagnosing Your Health Symptoms for Dummies, £13.99 from Amazon.
“Use infant ibuprofen or paracetamol to bring your baby’s temperature down and make sure he isn’t over or underdressed, or that his bedding isn’t too heavy or light,” says Knut. Don’t resort to the age-old remedy of using a tepid sponge to cool your baby down as it’s actually no longer recommended. Cooling the skin too quickly can result in shivering, which in turn can raise your baby’s temperature.
“Your baby has a temperature of 38ºC or higher if he’s younger than 3 months, or 39ºC or higher if he’s older than 3 months,” says Knut.
“As soon as I discover Jacob has a temperature, I monitor it every four hours and give him Calprofen to bring it down. I also make sure he gets plenty of fluids, and if he’s not interested in water or milk, I can normally persuade him with an ice lolly. If it hasn’t improved within a couple of days, I phone NHS Direct (0845 4647) or take him to the GP," said Briony Ross, 27, from Lanarkshire, mum to Jacob, 11 months.
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