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Fever is a increased body temperature above what is considered normal. The body generates this additional heat, so that the foreign organism cannot survive, and thus can fight disease.
The part of the human brain that controls body temperature, the hypothalamus, it is not fully developed in children. This means that a child's temperature can rise and fall very quickly, and that the child is more sensitive to the temperature of his environment.
The normal temperature for a child is 36 to 36.8 ºC when taken by orally, and 37.5 ° C when taken rectally.
Thedigital thermometers they are faster to use, more reliable and much safer.
The traditional mercury thermometers they are being phased out as mercury is a highly toxic substance.
The body temperature reading can be taken from the mouth, armpit, ear, surface of the skin, or rectum.
Although a reading of the rectal temperature is the most accurate, and is usually the most used in the hospital environment, it is not recommended for home use.
Rectal temperature is about 0.5 ° C (2 ° F) above readings taken from the mouth or ears.
Underarm temperature readings are not very reliable, and are about 0.5ºC lower than mouth temperature.
Fever does not require treatment, but if the child is very upset, it can be administered paracetamol or ibuprofen to make you feel better, to lower your body temperature.
No type of medicine should be given to children under 2 months of age without first consulting a doctor.
* Paracetamol relieves pain and lowers fever. The correct dosage depends on the weight and age of the child.
* Ibuprofen is another medicine that can be used to lower fever in children older than 6 months of age.
It is important avoid using aspirin to lower fever, since although in rare cases, it can cause Reye's syndrome in children. Reye's syndrome is a serious illness that can cause death. Doctors recommend not giving aspirin to children under 18 years of age.
Other methods to lower a fever include:
* Drink much liquid to prevent dehydration and help the body cool down.
* Keep the room temperature at about 21 to 24 ° C.
* Use preferably fine cotton clothing.
* A bath with lukewarm water. It is advisable to previously administer paracetamol to prevent the child from starting to tremble when receiving the bath. Never use alcohol or cold water for bathing.