Fever has always been a common health issue that affects both children and adults. Once the body temperature of a child reaches up to 100.4 degrees F, he/she has fever. Always bear in mind that fever is how the body eliminates the infection. A low level fever might only persist for a number of days and serve as a phase in the recovery procedure of the child. On the other hand, high level fever for an extended period of time can lead to serious health issues. A doctor should be consulted if a young child develops high fever.
Measuring the body temperature
You can measure the temperature of the child in three ways. It is important to note that the fever levels slightly differ with every method. When an oral thermometer is used and has a reading of 99.5 degrees F, it indicates that the child has fever. As for the rectal thermometer with a reading of 100.4 degrees F, a child has one.
When an axillary or underarm thermometer is used with a temperature reading of 99 degrees F, it also indicates that the child has a fever.
What are the common levels?
Children older than 3 months old with fever levels between 100.4-102 degrees F do not require medical attention. This low-grade fever might break after a short span of time. Once the fever increases higher than 102.2 degrees F in a toddler up to 3 years old, it is best to consult a doctor right away so that proper assessment can be carried out.
As for older children, they usually tolerate low-end fever but you still have to take care of the child until he/she regains his/her strength. In any circumstance, if the fever occurs along with symptoms such as listlessness, vomiting, blood-streaked stools or similar conditions, schedule an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible.
Even though all high body temperatures can result to health issues, some fever levels can indicate serious and immediate threats to the health of a child. If the temperature goes up to 107.6 degrees F, it is likely to cause brain damage. On the other hand, this degree of fever hardly occurs naturally unless the baby is wrapped too tight, leaving a child in a warm car left out under the sun, increasing the room temperature drastically or otherwise make conditions extremely hot.
An infant with a rectal temperature of 100.4 degrees F or higher should be taken to the nearest emergency department since babies are more sensitive to fever.
Considerations to bear in mind
When it comes to older children, if the body temperature reaches 105 degrees F or higher, it is considered as high fever with a risk of bacterial infection.
Always aim for the most reliable temperature reading. If you have heard about ear thermometers, they could not provide you with an accurate fever level reading for infants below 6 months.
Always watch out of other symptoms when a child has fever. Oftentimes, fever serves as a forerunner to another health issue such as coughing or diarrhea.