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Fever in Children


Children are more often affected by fever than adults. This is because the temperature center in children is not yet fully developed and stable. In addition, children’s defense systems must first learn to defend themselves against various pathogens. Even with a small health imbalance, the body temperature increases. In addition, the normal body temperature is up to 37.5 degrees Celsius due to the high metabolic activity in the first years of life.

Fever is not an independent disease, but a protective reaction of the body against infections by bacteria or viruses. The increase in temperature causes the body to mobilize its defenses in order to effectively remove the invading pathogens. When a child is feverish, it helps itself first. However, high fever (over 39 degrees Celsius) can impair important bodily functions and is a great burden for the organism.

How do I Know If My Child Has A Fever?

In most cases you can tell from the outside that the child has a fever the face can be hot and red, the eyes look tired and glassy, hands and feet feel either cold or hot. Some children are restless or agitated with fever and have no appetite.

If fever is suspected, the body temperature should be measured immediately. A thermometer in the intestinal exit (rectal) is best suited for exact measurement. The tip of a simple digital thermometer is carefully inserted one to two centimeters. The child can lie on the back during the measurement or in a side position with bent legs. Depending on the thermometer, the measurement takes only a few seconds. A good ear thermometer is recommended from an early age. The temperature is measured by an infrared ray on the eardrum. Measurements in the mouth require the child to participate well and should therefore only be carried out in children aged five and over.

What Causes Fever?

Often, there is no clear cause for fever in children. Diseases that can cause fever in the child include

  • Upper respiratory tract infections
  • Bronchitis
  • Lung infection
  • Gastrointestinal infections
  • Otitis media
  • Pfeiffer’s glandular fever
  • Typical childhood diseases (e.g. Three-day fever, chickenpox, rubella)
  • Appendicitis
  • Inflammation of the brain (meningitis)
  • Urinary tract infections and inflammation of the kidneys

Children’s body temperature is also dependent on the respective environment and can rise or fall quickly. If the room temperature rises, you should therefore make sure that you do not dress your child too warm, so that sufficient heat can be given off. In the opposite case – at rather low temperatures – it can also be a pullover in the sense of a balanced heat balance.

How can I help my child if they have a Fever?

It is important that you stay calm and watch your child closely. Make sure to give the child enough fluid.

The use of antipyretic medication should always be discussed with the pediatrician in advance!

When to the Pediatrician?

There are no clear recommendations from which fever day onwards you should see a doctor or at which temperature the fever condition should be classified as a cause for concern. Both depend on the general condition of the child and the experience of the parents.

Basically The body temperature in healthy children is between 36.5 ° and 37.5 ° Celsius. The child has an elevated temperature between 37.6 and 38.5 ° Celsius. But body temperatures between 38.0 and 38.5 ° Celsius can also indicate a disease. Fever occurs from 38.5 ° Celsius, above 39 ° Celsius one speaks of high fever.

Important The body temperature fluctuates depending on the time of day. In the morning the temperature is usually 0.5 ° Celsius lower than in the evening. The body temperature can also be elevated in children who run wild and are physically active.

Young infants in particular can have severe infections without developing a fever. A pediatrician should be consulted if the child

  • Has an unusual skin tone,
  • Rash shows
  • Don’t want to drink two meals,
  • Vomits repeatedly,
  • Has or has diarrhea
  • Behaves differently than normal, e.g. is apathetic and reacts little.

Parents should introduce their child to the pediatrician even if the fever occurs repeatedly or in batches or lasts longer (longer than one day for children under two years of age or three days for older children).

What can I do if I have a Febrile Seizure?

In rare cases, a high fever can lead to seizures. This leads to a brief loss of consciousness and muscle twitching. A febrile seizure is not immediately life-threatening, but a doctor should definitely clarify the cause and lower the fever.

If your child has a febrile seizure, act calmly and deliberately. In most cases, this passes quickly and means nothing bad. Stay with your child, calm them down and turn them over if they vomit. The child shaken by the cramp must not be held. Breathing must be checked regularly until the pediatrician or emergency doctor arrives.


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