If you are a parent, you have experienced firsthand the worry of having a child with a fever. Fever remains the most common reason why parents bring their children into the emergency room.
A fever is the body's natural way of fighting off infection. A fever is considered a normal infection-fighting process that happens when the body's immune system releases chemicals that raises the body's temperature.
Causes of a fever can include viral and bacterial infections as well as heat illnesses such as heat stroke, possible side effects to medications and immunisation shots, and teething.
There are several different categories of fever: low grade, common and high grade. A low-grade fever is considered to be a temperature between 37.2 and 38.2 degrees C. A common fever is considered to be a temperature of 38.3 and 39.7 degrees C. A high-grade fever is considered to be a temperature of 103.6 and above, which can be extremely dangerous for children.
There are many side effects of fevers; some are very mild while others are quite severe and dangerous. Some of the mild side effects of a fever include being irritable, lethargic, warm to the touch, fussy, having a loss of appetite, body aches, headaches, rapid breathing and trouble sleeping. Severe reactions to high fevers include febrile seizures, possible brain damage and, in very severe cases, even death.
If your child develops a fever, do not panic. There are many at-home remedies that will help reduce your child's fever and avoid an unnecessary trip to the emergency room. These include putting a wet washcloth on your child's forehead and sometimes even the back, giving a lukewarm bath, and giving the recommended dosage of over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen or a mix of both. Always consult your physician and never give a child aspirin.
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