Treating baby's high temperature
Safety

Treating baby’s high temperature

A high temperature can be a sign that your baby is fighting off infection. You can take his temperature with a thermometer, but often you can just tell by touching his forhead. His cheeks may be flushed too. He may also have a rash, or be sick or have diarrhoea. If your baby is unresponsive when he would usually be alert, or if you have any concern, it’s best to be safe and take him to your doctor immediately.

How to treat a fever

According to the Irish Red Cross, a fever is described as a sustained body temperature above the normal level of 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit). It is usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection, but may be associated with a slew of other maladies such as earaches, a sore throat, measles or chickenpox. Moderate fever is not harmful to adults, but in young children increased temperatures can be dangerous and may trigger seizures.

Typical symptoms of a fever include:

  • Raised body temperature above 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Child may be pale in appearance, feel cold to the touch with visibly raised goose pimples, shivering and chattering teeth.

Following the initial stages of fever, the child may present signs of:

  • Sweating, accompanied by hot, flushed skin.
  • Headache.
  • Generalised aches and pains. You should neither over or under dress a child with a fever, nor should you attempt to sponge the child to cool him/ her. It is not advisable to give aspirin to children under the age of 16 years.

Steps you can take to ease the child’s discomfort include:

1.  Ensuring they are cool and comfortable, preferably in bed with a light covering.

2. Giving the child plenty of cool drinks to replace bodily fluids lost through sweating.

3. Dispensing the recommended dose of paracetemol syrup (see instructions on packaging for details on exact measurements) if the child appears particularly distressed or unwell.

4. Carefully monitoring and regularly recording the child’s vital signs, i.e. level of response, breathing, pulse and temperature.

Should you feel the child is at risk of a seizure being induced as a result of the raised temperature, cool the child by removing his/her clothes and bed covering. If you are in doubt about the child’s condition, seek medical advice immediately.

For more information visit www.redcross.ie

More like this:

How to treat a fever
Complete guide to colic
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ASK LOUISE

Q My son is 18 months old and has just started saying his first words. It is an extremely exciting time in our house and my husband and I are eager to encourage his speaking as much possible. What advice would you give us on how we can foster this without bombarding and confusing him?

AThere is nothing better than hearing your baby begin to talk. All the hard work you have put in over the last two years is coming back tenfold.
Toddlers will vary significantly with ability and speed of which they talk however a guide would be about 50 words by 2 years of age. The most important thing to watch for is that your baby/toddler is cooing and babbling and begins to string sounds together like “Mama/Dada” They should have a wide range of speech sounds and like to imitate you and things they hear.
There are many ways that you can promote Speech and Language development at home:
1. Slowing down your own speech and taking time over conversations with your little one. Every day is a new experience when you are 18 months, nappy changes, bath time, baking a cake brings endless opportunity for you to interact and offer new words for them to hear and repeat. Make eye contact, smile and use exaggerated tones to keep things interesting and fun for your tot.
2. Review the toys that you have on offer to your tot and ensure that they give plenty of open ended play opportunities. Role play is a wonderful way to allow children to take the lead. Kitchens with lots of plates, cups and pots. Fill the pots with dry pasta and allow your child to cook and serve you. Playdoh, painting, gardening and sandpits are also great for allowing your child to take the lead and babble about what they are doing. Read plenty of books together and point and allow them time to answer any questions that you ask.
3. Limit screen time. Overuse of televisions and iPads do not give your child opportunity to interact in a two way manner.
4. Ask your child lots of open ended questions “What’s that?” “Where are we?” Point at things they know the answer to for boosting confidence (Car/ Car, etc.) When they don’t know the answer, explain it to them. Limit baby talk and speak clearly with good pronunciation, remember you are the teacher and they will copy you.
If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development, be sure to speak with your GP or developmental Health Nurse. They are very skilled at understanding the difference between speech delays and spotting something that may require professional attention.
Enjoy watching their little brains absorb the world around them and listen to what they have to say. It won’t be too long before they won’t stop talking to you, asking “Why Mummy/ Daddy?” every 5 minutes….

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ASK LOUISE

Q My son is 18 months old and has just started saying his first words. It is an extremely exciting time in our house and my husband and I are eager to encourage his speaking as much possible. What advice would you give us on how we can foster this without bombarding and confusing him?

AThere is nothing better than hearing your baby begin to talk. All the hard work you have put in over the last two years is coming back tenfold.
Toddlers will vary significantly with ability and speed of which they talk however a guide would be about 50 words by 2 years of age. The most important thing to watch for is that your baby/toddler is cooing and babbling and begins to string sounds together like “Mama/Dada” They should have a wide range of speech sounds and like to imitate you and things they hear.
There are many ways that you can promote Speech and Language development at home:
1. Slowing down your own speech and taking time over conversations with your little one. Every day is a new experience when you are 18 months, nappy changes, bath time, baking a cake brings endless opportunity for you to interact and offer new words for them to hear and repeat. Make eye contact, smile and use exaggerated tones to keep things interesting and fun for your tot.
2. Review the toys that you have on offer to your tot and ensure that they give plenty of open ended play opportunities. Role play is a wonderful way to allow children to take the lead. Kitchens with lots of plates, cups and pots. Fill the pots with dry pasta and allow your child to cook and serve you. Playdoh, painting, gardening and sandpits are also great for allowing your child to take the lead and babble about what they are doing. Read plenty of books together and point and allow them time to answer any questions that you ask.
3. Limit screen time. Overuse of televisions and iPads do not give your child opportunity to interact in a two way manner.
4. Ask your child lots of open ended questions “What’s that?” “Where are we?” Point at things they know the answer to for boosting confidence (Car/ Car, etc.) When they don’t know the answer, explain it to them. Limit baby talk and speak clearly with good pronunciation, remember you are the teacher and they will copy you.
If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development, be sure to speak with your GP or developmental Health Nurse. They are very skilled at understanding the difference between speech delays and spotting something that may require professional attention.
Enjoy watching their little brains absorb the world around them and listen to what they have to say. It won’t be too long before they won’t stop talking to you, asking “Why Mummy/ Daddy?” every 5 minutes….