12 months

NEVER GIVE CHIL­DREN UN­DER TWO YEARS MED­I­CA­TION CON­TAIN­ING CODEINE OR AN­TI­HIS­TAMINE. ALSO AVOID GIV­ING (ANY­ONE UN­DER 18) ASPIRIN, AS IT CAN CAUSE A RARE BUT LIFE THREAT­EN­ING CON­DI­TION CALLED REYE’S SYN­DROME

Your Baby & Toddler - - Your Baby -

RARE, BUT VERY IM­POR­TANT

A rare but fright­en­ing side ef­fect of fevers is febrile seizures or con­vul­sions. “Th­ese fits can last up to five min­utes and usu­ally in­volve the whole body shak­ing with a de­creased level of con­scious­ness,” says the doc.

Only about 2 to 4 per­cent of chil­dren un­der five will get this. “Ideally, par­ents should take all the nec­es­sary steps to avoid febrile con­vul­sions,” says Dr Kar­ba­nee.

Know­ing what to do if it hap­pens is im­por­tant: • Do put your child on their side. • Do not put any­thing in their mouth. • Do call am­bu­lance.

TREAT­MENT TIPS THER­MOME­TER

In­vest in a ther­mome­ter that fits around baby’s head or one that mea­sures the tem­per­a­ture in the ear – th­ese are most ac­cu­rate. Take the tem­per­a­ture in both ears for the most

MED­I­CA­TION

Keep pain and fever syrups and sup­pos­i­to­ries handy and check ex­piry dates of­ten.

Re­mem­ber that even though med­i­ca­tion is avail­able over the counter, it should not be used with less cau­tion than pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tions. They can have se­ri­ous, and even life threat­en­ing, side ef­fects.

Stick to the pre­scribed dose. Giv­ing a higher dose of med­i­ca­tion for your baby’s age won’t break the fever quicker. It can in fact do more harm than good. Use your child’s weight as the in­di­ca­tor of the dose of med­i­ca­tion that you need – this is most ac­cu­rate. If you don’t know your child’s weight, then go for the dose that’s pre­scribed per age.

Giv­ing med­i­ca­tion as a pre­ven­ta­tive mea­sure and to avoid the tem­per­a­ture from ris­ing should be avoided. If your child’s tem­per­a­ture is ris­ing once the pre­vi­ous dose has worn off, you should ad­min­is­ter an­other dose, but, if the tem­per­a­ture re­mains within the nor­mal range, there’s no need to give an­other dose.

With ba­bies younger than six months, parac­eta­mol is ad­vised for pain and fever.

Tem­per­a­ture isn’t a re­li­able marker in small ba­bies, as they can be sick with a nor­mal or below-nor­mal tem­per­a­ture. Al­ways look at how your baby is feed­ing (is it nor­mal?), is he floppy and how he is han­dling the tem­per­a­ture?

From six months of age, parac­eta­mol or ibupro­fen liq­uid or sup­pos­i­to­ries can be ad­min­is­tered to­gether (al­ter­nat­ing) ev­ery eight hours, not more than three doses per day and not more than three days con­tin­u­ously. Ex­am­ple: parac­eta­mol dose given at 6am, then ibupro­fen dose given at 10am, parac­eta­mol dose given at 2pm.

Parac­eta­mol is very ef­fec­tive for treat­ing fever, whereas ibupro­fen is an an­ti­in­flam­ma­tory, which is good

LUKE­WARM BATH

Strip your baby and use a luke­warm towel or sponge bath to treat a fever. Don’t plunge him in ice-cold wa­ter, or use al­co­hol or any other strange flu­ids – this can ac­tu­ally lead to con­vul­sions.

Even if you’re cold or if it is freez­ing out­side, re­move baby’s clothes if he has a fever. “It’s far safer to un­der­dress the child than to over­dress! If he’s sweat­ing, he’s over­dressed,” says Dr Kar­ba­nee.

Hands and feet can be mis­lead­ing. Even if her feet or hands are ice-cold, she might still have a rag­ing fever. Feel her chest and back and take her tem­per­a­ture. YB

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