Fever is common in children and is usually not serious. It falls with simple applications you can do at home. However, in the case of prolonged fever, the underlying disease should be treated.

Fever is one of the body’s ways to fight infections. Fever is common in children. Redness on the cheeks is manifested by warmth.

The normal body temperature of children is between 36.5-38 ⁰C. However, it varies depending on the activity status, the time of day, and the region from which it is measured. Body temperature is higher in the early morning hours.

Above 38 ⁰C is considered as fever.

How is fever measured in children?

Before the temperature measurement in children, the thick clothes on the child are removed, the ambient temperature is ensured to be suitable, the area to be measured is dry.

Temperature measurement can be measured under the armpit, ear, and rectal in children. Rectal measurement is no longer a preferred measurement method. It is considered normal up to 37.2 ⁰C in armpit measurement, 37.8 ⁰C in ear measurement, and 38.2 ⁰C in rectal measurement.

Several types of thermometers are used to measure temperature. These:

  • Glass thermometers: They contain mercury. It is used frequently. There is a risk of breakage and mercury contamination of the skin. It is used for armpit, oral, rectal measurements. The measurement error is small. However, it is now being replaced by digital thermometers.
  • Digital thermometers: More preferred. Sit your child comfortably on your lap, place the thermometer under the armpit, take the measurement signal after 15 seconds and read the value on the screen. If the battery is low in digital thermometers, it may give incorrect results.
  • Ear (tympanic) thermometers: These are digital thermometers that measure from the ear. It can damage the ear canal in very young children.
  • Strip type thermometers: Fever is measured from the skin surface such as forehead and hand. However, it mostly only gives skin temperature, does not reflect body temperature, and can be misleading.

What causes fever in children?

Common causes of high fever in childhood include:

  • Infections (cold, flu, upper and lower respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections, diarrhea, blood infections, COVID-19 etc.)
  • drug side effect,
  • Chronic joint inflammation
  • Some tumors
  • gastrointestinal diseases,

Do children have convulsions due to high fever?

High fever in children is dangerous because of underlying diseases. A small amount of elevation will not harm the child.

However, due to high fever, a seizure (febrile convulsion) develops in one out of every 30 children aged 6 months to 6 years. In this case, the fever is usually well above 38 ⁰C. For the most part, it does not harm the child. The child has convulsions and jumps, the eyes become bruised, the consciousness weakens. It is temporary, it does not leave any damage to the child. During contractions, the child should be prevented from hitting something and hurting himself. If the convulsion does not go away, take the child to the emergency room as soon as possible with his back turned to you, his head to his side and the airway open.

When should we take a child with a fever to the doctor?

Children may have mild fevers. It is expected that this fever will decrease with the methods you will apply at home. However, in some cases, the child needs to be checked by a doctor. These situations are:

  • If you have difficulty communicating with the child, if there is a constant sleepiness,
  • If it is difficult to breathe,
  • If you are vomiting or have headaches,
  • Abdominal pain, if the urine has an odor,
  • His nutrition is weakened, he cannot get enough fluids,
  • If you have a stiff neck, the light hurts your eyes,
  • If the fever has passed three days,
  • If the child is less than three months old, a doctor’s check is needed.

How is fever treated in children?

Fever is common in children and is usually not serious. It falls with simple applications you can do at home. However, in the case of prolonged fever, the underlying disease should be treated.

Applications that you can do at home to reduce fever in children are:

  • Undress the child, take off his diaper, shirt and trousers, put him in light clothes,
  • If they are shaking, cover them with a sheet.
  • Adjust the room temperature, not too hot, ventilate the room,
  • Give plenty of fluids
  • Put a wet cloth on his head, wet his face,
  • Take a warm bath.
  • Do not give aspirin, there is a risk of Reye’s Syndrome,
  • Do not use alcohol or vinegar.
  • Give a fever reducer, get help from your doctor for this.

Do not use cold and flu remedies on young children. In the presence of prolonged fever, consult your doctor to determine the source of the fever and to treat it. In the presence of infection, antibiotics will be started if needed.