What is Fever?
Average body temperature ranges between 36.5 – 37.5°C. Low-grade fever ranges between 37.5 – 38°C. Fever is seen as a body temperature of 38.5°C or higher. Fever is usually a sign that your child’s body is fighting off some sort of infection; however fever is not something to be afraid of. Fever means that your child’s immune system is functioning as it should to help fight off viruses and bacteria.
Viral infections: Tend to cause high fevers from the onset of other symptoms. Fever due to viral infections tends to subside abruptly after 1-4 days. Viral infections can only be treated symptomatically, antibiotic treatment will not work.
Bacterial infections: Tend to start with other symptoms of the illness first. Fever appears gradually and may elevate over the course of a few days. Bacterial infections warrants the use of antibiotics, however this will have to be prescribed by your paediatrician after evaluating your child.
When to not be concerned
- Your child feels ill and does not act like they normally do when the fever spikes, but behaviour returns to normal as soon as the fever breaks.
- Fever is overall low-grade, and no other symptoms that warrant concern are present.
- Your child is in general feeding well, eating more or less as normal, sleeping patterns have not changed, playing and interacting as normal.
When to see your paediatrician
- Should you as a parent at any time be concerned, rather make an appointment. It is better to be safe than sorry.
- Fever has been persisting on and off for 3 days (72hours)
- Fever has spiked to over 39°C
- Any other symptoms which accompany the fever
- Child’s condition is deteriorating in general
- Fever does not break when medication is given
- Fever in a baby less than 3 months of age