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
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.
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