Catch the fever

A fever is a temporary increase in body temperature and is a common indication of an infection. Though it sounds scary, the process is actually good for the body because it heats to the point of killing the germs associated with the problem. Here’s what to know about treating infant fever and how to be prepared.

Know the numbers.
A normal temperature for a baby is between 97 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. These are general guidelines to determine when you should call a doctor based on your little one’s age:

-3 months or younger: 100.4°F
-3 to 6 months: 102°F and seems unusually irritable, lethargic or uncomfortable
-6 months and older: 102°F that lasts longer than one day without other symptoms

Aim for accuracy.
According to the Mayo Clinic, moms of babies from birth to age 3 months should use a regular digital thermometer to take a rectal temperature. New research suggests that a temporal artery thermometer might also provide accurate readings in newborns.

To take a rectal temperature, lubricate the tip of the thermometer with petroleum jelly. Lay baby on her back, lift the thighs and insert the thermometer ½ to 1 inch into the rectum.

Send in relief.
Once you confirm babe’s fever is not an emergency and you’re waiting for it to break, there are a few things you can do to offer comfort.

1| Keep baby hydrated and make sure she has plenty of breast milk or formula.
2| Enjoy lots of skin-to-skin contact.
3| Give a regular or sponge bath in lukewarm water.
4| Outfit her in light, cool clothing for sleep.

Tip: Your pediatrician is there to answer your questions and listen to concerns. If you feel your child needs attention, never hesitate to seek medical attention from a professional.

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