To understand what temperature should be considered elevated, you need to know what temperature is the norm. Many people think that in a healthy child, normal body temperature should always be exactly 36.6. But it is not so. The temperature not only depends on age (in infants it is higher), but also it changes during the day (the lowest at 4-5 in the morning, the highest at noon and in the evening).
Elevated temperature often becomes the first signal of a child’s illness. Therefore, it is always important to find out the cause of the fever, including if there are no other symptoms of the disease. Consider the most common causes of temperature rise in children.
It should be noted that after the child performs physical exercises (within 30 minutes), the body temperature rises. In children of the first year of life, the temperature may be slightly higher than in older children. This is due to the fact that thermoregulation in babies is not yet sufficiently formed. Therefore, in a baby (infant), the temperature is usually in the range 36.3-37.4 degrees C (when measured in the armpit). If the child eats well, sleeps, is not capricious, then do not worry.
Febrile / subfebrile temperature
Often you can hear the terms febrile or subfebrile temperature. What does it mean?
Low-grade is called body temperature in the range of 37 – 38 degrees C. This temperature is not required to bring down. However, if subfebrile condition persists for a long time, more than 5 days, then this may indicate the presence of problems in the body. The causes of chronic subfebrile temperature can be quite serious, therefore it is necessary to consult a child with a doctor.
Febrile body temperature ranges from 38.1 – 39 degrees C. This is a fairly high temperature, you should pay special attention to the general condition of the child, skin, respiratory tract, lymph nodes. At febrile temperature, you need to drink the baby as much as possible. Some children can hardly tolerate high temperatures, so if the temperature is above 38.5 degrees C, give an antipyretic.
Hypothermia – the so-called lowered body temperature. Cold environments, infections, neurological problems, metabolic and endocrine diseases can cause hypothermia. Therefore, if the reasons for the low temperature are not obvious, immediately consult a doctor.
When a lowered body temperature is associated with hypothermia of the child, then you need to do the following as soon as possible:
- if the child is wet, dress him in dry clothes;
- wrap in a warm blanket;
- give a warm drink;
- put your child a heating pad or something warm;
- try to raise the temperature in the room, for example, with a heater.
High fever in a child without symptoms
A temperature without coughing and snot can confuse parents. Most likely, the disease is not associated with a common cold. Diagnosing the cause of the disease only on the basis of fever is not easy. What should you pay special attention to? First of all, conditions requiring urgent treatment should be excluded. Pay attention to the general well-being of the child. If the child is lethargic, sleepy, refuses to drink, whimpers, spots of red or brown color (petechiae) appear on the skin, immediately call an ambulance.
The main causes of temperature without symptoms in children include:
- teething reaction. On the eve and on the day of teething in young children, temperature often rises. Perhaps increased salivation. The child pulls the handles in his mouth, naughty. You can anoint the gums with a special analgesic gel and give an anti-inflammatory agent. However, a significant increase in temperature should not be associated only with teething;
- viral or bacterial infection. In some viral diseases, the temperature rises first, and after a while a rash appears, which lasts from several hours to several days. The course of the disease is usually favorable.
The cause of the temperature rise may be acute otitis media. Ear pain is not always severely expressed, and the child does not show complaints. To understand if there is inflammation in the ear, slightly press on the tragus (protrusion near the auricle), if the child complains of discomfort, an additional examination by a specialist is needed. To establish a diagnosis, the doctor will examine the ears with an otoscope.
Urinary tract infection can also cause fever.
To exclude the disease, a urine test is performed;
- overheating of the child. The temperature can also increase under the influence of external factors. For example, with prolonged exposure to the sun. Do not allow overheating in children, as the condition is very dangerous for the health of the child. Provide first aid, transfer the child to the shade, drink in small portions, unsweetened water. The temperature during overheating can last up to two days. If the temperature is high, give an antipyretic.
Temperature for acute respiratory viral infections and influenza
SARS (acute respiratory viral disease) and influenza are almost always accompanied by fever. 1-3 days after infection with the virus that causes the disease, the child has the first signs of a cold: cough, sore throat, fever, snot. The normal reaction of an organism to the penetration of viruses is an increase in temperature. With the help of temperature in the body, adverse conditions are created for the reproduction of viruses, the immune system is activated.
Antivirals at temperature
Do I need to give antiviral drugs at temperature? Such drugs are not needed to treat temperature. Antiviral agents are prescribed for the prevention and treatment of colds caused by viruses. It is advisable to give them at the first signs of ARVI, in the prodromal period. When the child becomes lethargic, capricious, the throat begins to hurt, a runny nose appears.
Why do I need an antiviral drug? To make the disease easier, the body was able to quickly overcome the virus and recover. One of the effective drugs for treating colds in children and adults is Oscillococcinum. An increased temperature with SARS and influenza for more than three days may indicate the attachment of a bacterial infection.
Do I need to bring down the temperature
At elevated temperatures in children, it is necessary to provide the child with a plentiful drink and limit physical activity. When the temperature rises above 38.5 degrees C, you need to lower it to optimal values. If after taking the medication the temperature dropped to around 37.5, then this is enough, then you do not need to bring it down.
The medicine cabinet should always have paracetamol or ibuprofen. For the treatment of a small child, it is convenient to use antipyretic suppositories for temperature. Aspirin is not recommended for the treatment of children, so Ray syndrome may develop.
In order to accelerate the decrease in temperature, physical cooling methods are also used. Wipe with cool water or a weak solution of vinegar, cold compresses. You can make your child a warm shower.
Remember that you can not do rubbing when the child has chills and the temperature rises! Rubdowns are carried out when the child begins to sweat actively, in order to accelerate the process of temperature decline.
Is it possible to do with inhalation temperature
Steam inhalation at high temperature is not recommended. It is best to wait until the temperature drops after taking an antipyretic drug, and then carry out inhalation procedures.
If the temperature is low (up to 37.5), and the doctor prescribed inhalations with a nebulizer, then they can be done. Inhalation procedures are not allowed if the child has a tendency to nosebleeds.
SARS without temperature
There are several reasons why a cold runs without fever:
– the body successfully copes with the infection without increasing the temperature. In this case, do not worry. The treatment is symptomatic;
– weakened immunity. The protective mechanism of the body does not work and the temperature does not rise. In such a situation, complications of the common cold are possible, you need to see a doctor;
– it is possible that treatment is started too early with agents that affect the decrease in temperature. For example, with the first symptoms of the disease, treatment with ibuprofen is started. In this case, the medicine prevented a fever.