Handling a Newborn with Fever Correctly

Fever in infants is a common condition that indicates that the body is fighting disease, and as a sign of the functioning of the immune system. However, you need to be aware if a newborn has a fever when he is under three months old. If left unchecked, this condition can be very dangerous to his health. Many people feel that their babies have a fever only from touching it with their hands. Even though to make sure the baby has a fever or not, it takes a body temperature measurement using a thermometer. When experiencing a fever, babies also usually show other symptoms, such as not wanting to breastfeed, difficulty sleeping, fussing, and not moving too much.

How to Ensure Fever in Newborns

Fever in babies is a symptom that can make parents worry. A newborn baby is said to have a fever when his body temperature reaches 38 degrees Celsius. The best way to find out the baby's body temperature is to use a thermometer on the anus. The thermometer that is inserted through the baby's anus is considered quite accurate in measuring the baby's body temperature. Before using it, make sure the thermometer is smeared with petroleum jelly. After that, insert the thermometer into the baby's anus to about 2 cm. Wait for 2 minutes or until it beeps. As much as possible avoid using thermometers made from mercury. Mercury-based thermometers can cause poisoning or hurt your child if broken. In addition to the anal thermometer, you can use a digital thermometer placed on your baby's armpits to find out his body temperature. If the results of the thermometer indicate that he has a fever, then you should immediately take him to the doctor.

Causes of newborns having fever and its treatment

The cause of a newborn fever is generally an infection. But besides infection, newborns can also experience fever due to dehydration, side effects of vaccinations, or heat from wearing clothes that are too tight and closed. Infants who are too long exposed to the sun are also at high risk for fever. In order to find out the cause of a baby's fever, the doctor needs to do a thorough examination. This examination includes physical examination and support, such as complete blood tests, urine tests, blood cultures, and X-rays. The results of the examination are used to determine the method of handling fever. Not all babies are handled by the same method. For example if a baby has a fever due to a bacterial infection, the doctor will give antibiotics. If the baby has a fever due to dehydration, then he needs to get more milk. And if severe dehydration has occurred, the doctor will give fluids through an IV.

Beware of Fever Newborns Under the Age of Three Months

Please note, fever in infants under the age of three months can be a sign of a serious illness. Therefore, you should do the following things when you know your child has a fever:
  • Take your child immediately to the doctor or to the nearest hospital emergency room.
  • Do not give fever-lowering drugs, except based on doctor's advice.
  • Do not bundle or wrap your baby with blankets or excessive clothing.
  • Make sure the room temperature is cool and comfortable for babies, not too hot and not too cold.
If a newborn baby has a fever accompanied by other symptoms, such as shortness of breath, lips or nails bluish, the skin looks yellow, convulsions, very weak, and does not shed tears when crying, immediately consult a pediatrician to get treatment.

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