Health note­book. Fever

A fever is not nec­es­sar­ily a bad thing – it in­di­cates that your baby’s body is work­ing hard to fight off in­fec­tion. Help your lit­tle one feel bet­ter with our tips

Your Baby & Toddler - - Contents -

1 KEEP YOUR BABY HY­DRATED

Make sure your baby gets enough flu­ids so that he doesn’t get de­hy­drated. “Clear flu­ids or breast­milk (or for­mula, if that is what your baby is on) should suf­fice, and if your baby is al­ready eat­ing solids en­cour­age him to eat too,” says pae­di­a­tri­cian Dr Deliwe Ng­wezi. You can also of­fer your older baby an elec­trolyte so­lu­tion mixed with wa­ter.

2GIVE A LUKE­WARM SPONGE BATH

Un­dress your baby and use a sponge dipped in luke­warm wa­ter to pat him down. This will help him feel more com­fort­able and may even help bring the fever down a bit. Don’t put your baby in a cold bath as this could be quite a shock to his sys­tem.

3 DON’T OVERDRESS YOUR BABY

– keep him com­fort­able but don’t overdo it. Dr Ng­wezi also rec­om­mends nurs­ing your baby in a cool room with ad­e­quate ven­ti­la­tion. You can also use a fan to keep your baby cool.

4GIVE PARAC­ETA­MOL

If all other mea­sures of bring­ing the fever down don’t work, you can give your baby a dose of parac­eta­mol (Panado or Calpol syrup) ac­cord­ing to the dosage in­struc­tions on the pack­age in­sert, says Dr Ng­wezi. “Re­mem­ber that the cor­rect dos­ing of parac­eta­mol should be given ac­cord­ing to weight, and not ac­cord­ing to age, as there is fre­quent over­dos­ing of young ba­bies. Use this with cau­tion,” she adds.

5SEE THE DOC­TOR

If you have done all of the above and your baby’s fever per­sists, take him to a doc­tor. If your baby is less than 28 days old and has a fever you must take him to the doc­tor im­me­di­ately. Dr Ng­wezi says that this re­quires hospi­tal ad­mis­sion. The same goes for ba­bies whose fevers are cou­pled with lethargy and re­fus­ing to feed, as well as ba­bies who vomit per­sis­tently af­ter feed­ing. If your baby has a febrile con­vul­sion as a re­sult of a fever, take him to the hospi­tal. YB

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