The article is consulted professionally by Master, Resident Doctor Dang Thi Doc – PediatricIan – Newborn – Pediatrics – Newborn – Share99 Ha Long International Health Hub.
Infant temperature disorders such as fever (hypothermia) or hypothermia are the most frightening symptoms for parents, especially when the fever is high or the baby is only a few weeks old.
1. Increased temperature in babies
Fever is not a disease but it is a symptom of a lot of diseases. Fever often turns out that the body is fighting disease and the immune system is working. In most cases the child has a fever usually caused by a cold or viral infection. Other less common diseases such as pneumonia, urinary tract infections, ear infections or more serious infections such as blood infections or meningitis can also cause fever. Other causes of fever in babies include:
- Side effects after vaccination
- The weather is too hot, dressed too warmly or stays out of the house for a long time on a hot day
Common signs of fever in babies are warm foreheads, however without this sign it does not mean that the baby does not have a fever. Your baby can also be irritable and fussy than usual. Other symptoms associated with fever in newborns include:
- Poor sleep
- Poor eating
- No interest in playing
- Less activity or even lethargy
Most babies have an average body temperature of about 36.5°C to 38°C. Fever occurs when the baby's body temperature rises above 38°C. The baby's temperature may rise slowly above 38°C for several days or may rise very quickly.
When to call a doctor?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), call your doctor if your child:
- Under 3 months of age and with fever
- Lethargy and insympathetic
- Have breathing or eating problems
- Very irritable or difficult to keep calm
- There are signs of dehydration, such as less wet diapers, dry mouth, no tears when crying or concave
What should I do if my child has a fever?
If the child is under 1 month old and has a fever, contact your doctor or visit a Medical facility immediately. For older children, try these suggestions:
- Bathe your child with warm water – always check the temperature of the water with your wrist before washing your baby.
- Put your baby in wide and airy clothes.
- Give your baby enough water to avoid dehydration. These liquids must be breast milk, formula, electrolysed solution or water.
If the child is older than 6 months and the doctor has examined and no other underlying medical conditions have been detected then you can give it paracetamol or ibuprofen (Hapacol or Brufen). Never give aspirin to your child with fever due to an increased risk of Reye syndrome.
2. Hypothermia in babies
If the baby's temperature drops below 36.5°C, it is considered hypothermia or low body temperature. Low body temperature in babies can be dangerous and, although rare, can lead to death.
In addition to low body temperature, symptoms of hypothermia in babies include:
- Sluggish, lethargic
- Poor eating
- Weak crying
- Pale skin, cold or cool skin
- Shortness of breath
Premature birth and mild weight
Babies born under 28 weeks or babies under 1.5 kg are more likely to suffer from hypothermia immediately after birth compared to babies of normal weight and full months. This is because these babies have a higher proportion of skin area per weight than full-month babies, which makes premature babies more susceptible to hypothermia. Other contributing factors are:
- Lack of insulation fat
- Inmed adult nervous system
- Inability to conduct heat efficiently
Cold living room
Many babies, even full months, are born with a body temperature that almost cools down because in the delivery room there is a cold temperature, which quickly causes the child's body temperature to drop.
Hypoglycemia is a condition where there is too little glucose or sugar in the child's blood. Glucose is used by the body as energy. The baby may have hypoth glucosesis at birth or immediately after due to infection, birth defects or the health of the mother during pregnancy.
Some serious infections are associated with a decrease in body temperature. For example, meningitis is a condition of inflammation of the membrane that surrounds the spinal cord, which can sometimes cause fever in babies, but in other cases it can cause lower temperature lowering than usual. Or sepsis, which is a bacterial disease, often causes hypothermia in babies.
What should I do if my child has a temperature lower?
If it is suspected that the child has a low body temperature, the first thing you should do is measure the temperature of the child. Rectal temperature may be more accurate, but if you do not have a rectal measurement thermometer, you can use a measuring thermometer in the armpit. Never use a thermometer measured in the armpit to measure the temperature in the rectum or vice versa.
If the baby's temperature is low and although you have dressed, raise the room temperature with air conditioning or a diaper that the child's temperature does not rise, call your doctor or go to the Medical facility immediately.
Dr. Dang Thi Doc was a lecturer in Pediatrics at Hai Phong University of Medicine and Pharmacy. Have been granted certificates of pediatrics at home and abroad such as Westmead Health Hub, Australia; Hai Phong Medical University. Currently, Dr. Doc is a pediatrician at the Newborn Department of Share99 Ha Long International Health Hub.
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Reference source: Webmd.com; Pregnancybirthbaby.org.au
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