Fever in Children, 0 to 6 Months: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Thermometer

A fever is a high body temperature. It is one way the body fights illness.

Babies with a fever often have an infection caused by a virus, such as a cold or the flu. Infections caused by bacteria, such as a urinary infection or bacterial pneumonia, also can cause a fever. Babies younger than 6 months should be seen by a doctor anytime they have a fever.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • Look at how your baby acts, rather than using temperature alone, to see how sick your baby is. If your baby is comfortable and alert, is eating well and drinking enough fluids, is urinating normally, and seems to be getting better, care at home may be all that is needed.
  • Dress your baby in light clothes or pyjamas. Don't wrap your baby in blankets.

When should you call for help?

The advice below applies only to babies who have just been seen by a doctor.

Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • Your baby seems very sick or is hard to wake up.

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your baby seems to be getting sicker.
  • The fever gets much higher.
  • There are new or worse symptoms along with the fever, such as a cough, a rash, or vomiting.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • The fever hasn't gone down after 24 hours.
  • Your child does not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to http://www.healthwise.net/ed

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