Basics About Fever
Fever is perhaps one of the most common illness symptoms among children; and when too young, perhaps the first and only one, so parents are very concerned about fever and try to fight it hard when it's present.
Obviously fever produces discomfort to both, children and adults and it's necessary to relief it in order to allow the affected person to feel better; however the major concern is not the fever itself but the problem behind it.
The most common cause of fever is a viral infection such as flu. Usually this type of fever is mild and self-limited which means it will disappear without any treatment in a matter of few days; however if the fever is high or lasts too long (more than a couple of days), something wrong could be happening.
Depending of the child's age; the underlying cause of fever is different; i.e. fever in a new born baby is an emergency because it could be due to sepsis, a critical, generalized infection which could jeopardize baby's life; but the same fever in a 3 months old little girl could be the result of an urinary tract infection.
The most important thing with fever is to consider it as an alarm; then even when it's possible to relieve fever and make the patient to feel better; it's a good thing to find medical advice, especially with very young children, because a major problem could be behind the fever and a delayed diagnosis could lead to serious complications or even dead.
Nevertheless, don't panic! There's always room to fight fever at home, especially during the night, thus you don't have to go immediately to the emergency room when your little one has high temperature; unless it's associated with other symptoms such as weak suction, lethargy or seizures. In such cases, immediate medical advice is required!
But if there's no other symptom than fever, you may try to control it with over the counter antipyretics for a few hours until you may contact your pediatrician.
Remember that fever on newborns and nursing children is always a serious alarm; afterwards, when they become toddlers, fever could be the result of just a flu, and there's not so many worries about it, especially when associated with running nose and red eyes, typical flu symptoms.
Finally, the association of diarrhea and fever is always a sign of complication, so if it occurs, try to find medical help as soon as possible.
For new parents, fever may be challenging and frightening, however with time, it will be easy to make the difference between a fever requiring medical attention and a "benning" episode of high temperature; but as usual, in case of doubts, don't hesitate to call your pediatrician; who will be very glad to help you and your kid.