Fever in Children – Symptoms and Treatment
Children can develop fever owing to viral infections that sometimes go away without treatment. Sometimes a fever may be an indication of something more serious such as bacterial infection which can take the form of pneumonia, meningitis, urinary tract infection and others.
Fever is a part of the natural defense mechanism of the body and is generally caused by a viral or a bacterial infection. Chemicals are caused by some illnesses which affect the hypothalamus and thereby result in fever.
Children suffering from fever can have an increased body temperature and be suffering from other symptoms namely crying or irritation, increased sweat, flushes and tired look. In some cases, the fever may be accompanied by pains and aches, chills etc. Seizures can also occur in younger children because of increased body temperature, otherwise called febrile convulsions.
Rolling back of eyes and twitching of child’s body can be indications that your child is suffering from fits. You should seek immediate medical attention or contact your GP if your child has a stiff neck, is unusually sleepy, has difficulty breathing, has an unusual rash, has suffered a febrile convulsion etc. Even if you feel that your child does not appear to be right or is behaving normally you can consult your doctor for help.
Your child can be started on antibiotics if your doctor suspects a bacterial infection. Ear and throat infections, urinary tract infections, sinus infections, pneumonia, gastrointestinal infections and others can be cure using antibiotics at home. Either oral antibiotics or a shot, or both can be used to treat such conditions that causes fever. Those who are thought to suffer from bacterial meningitis must be admitted to the hospital.
Ibuprofen or acetaminophen (Tylenol) may also be given by your doctor for controlling the fever. IV fluids or oral fluids may be started to control dehydration which may accompany fever in some children. In case of vomiting in children, doctors may prescribe anti-nausea drugs which may be given by rectal suppository or by injection. Oral fluids can be started after some time.
If bacterial infection gets ruled out and your child’s fever is controlled your doctor may discharge your child from the emergency unit for further monitoring or care at home.