Caring for Your Little One: Warning Signs of an Infant Fever

infant fever

It’s every parent’s worse nightmare — your child is sick but you’re unsure how to help them. 

A fever is the human body’s natural response to an infection or virus. But young infants are more vulnerable to the harmful effects of fevers. 

If a severe fever is left untreated, it can lead to brain injuries in extreme cases. The first step towards preventing further injuries is to figure out if your infant is truly suffering from a fever. 

An infant fever can be hard to detect, keep reading to learn the warning signs and how to treat your child.

High Body Temperature 

The most obvious symptom of fever in babies is high body temperature.

If you’re using a rectal thermometer, a temperature of 100.4 F or higher indicates a fever. A rectal thermometer is the most accurate way to read an infants temperature. If you don’t have a rectal thermometer, you can use an armpit thermometer and look for temperatures over 99 F. 

Not sure how to properly check your infant’s body temperature? Visit this webpage for helpful instructions

Lethargic 

If your infant becomes lethargic or changes their behavior, they may have a fever. 

Be on the lookout for a loss of appetite or trouble sleeping. If your infant has little to no energy throughout the day and no desire to play, their body may be fighting off an infection. 

If this change in behavior lasts for an extended period of time, call an urgent care in Baton Rouge to talk with a medical professional. 

Skin Rash 

A skin rash combined with a change of behavior or high temperature indicates your child has a fever. 

Be on the lookout for small, red or purple spots on your child’s skin or large purple blotches. Try pressing on these spots, if they don’t turn white when you apply pressure, they’re most likely a symptom of a fever. 

There are many different rashes that are common in children. Do some research to see if your child’s rash is indicative of a fever or a normal skin irritation

Seizures

A seizure is a symptom the may occur if your child is suffering from a bad fever.

A very small percentage of children have seizures because of fevers, but it is possible. If your child does have a seizure, monitor them closely until the seizure stops. It’s a good idea to keep track of how long the seizure lasts so you can provide this information to a medical care professional. 

Treating an Infant Fever

If your child is displaying one or more of these symptoms, they may have an infant fever. 

Infants one-month-old or younger should receive medical care immediately if they show symptoms of a fever. Try hydrating older infants or bathing them with lukewarm water to see if your child’s temperature goes down. If the fever lasts longer than 24 hours, seek medical attention. 

If you’re ever unsure about whether your infant needs immediate medical care, contact us at Coastal Urgent Care in Baton Rouge. Our clinic is open seven days a week and staffed with highly-trained healthcare professionals.