Fever in children: Causes and Diagnosis

Fever in children: Causes and Diagnosis


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Every child gets a fever from time to time and it’s quite common for the parents to get worried about. But if one has the knowledge of what has to be done when this happens it can be a great help to deal with it without much stress.

This blog will help you with what you need to know about fever and fevers in children, causes, symptoms and also when to contact the doctor.

Fever if simply defined describes the body temperature higher than normal. It can affect both adults and children. If the body temperature increases only for a short term, it can help the body fight off illness. But if one has severe fever, this can be a symptom of a serious condition in need of urgent medical attention.

Once a fever is recognized, it helps to get a proper treatment and monitoring. The normal body temperature for a human being is around 98.6 degree F or 37degree C. But the normal body temperature for each person varies and it can also fluctuate depending on the time of the day. The temperature is often lower in the morning and gets higher in the evening or night. There are also other factors that affect the temperature that include intense exercise or menstrual cycle.

Fever in children

When it comes to normal temperature, it varies from child to child and can increase or decrease throughout the day. However, if the child’s temperature is 100.4 degree or above, it would mean that they have fever

Fever is common among young children and by the time the child reaches 18 months, they are expected to have had around eight infections with fever. An infection of some kind can cause fever and normally it tends to get better on its own. However, at times, it can be a sign for something more serious health problem and it is very important to have the knowledge for managing and treating the child’s fever and to know when to get medical help.

Symptoms of fever in children

Symptoms of a fever in children may be obvious or subtle. The symptoms are more subtle if the child is younger in age.
If the child has fever, the body temperature will be 38degree C or above. They may look or feel generally week and unwell and not as active they were before. They will also show little interest to eat or drink
There are times when a minor illness can lead to a very high temperature but sometimes a serious infection can cause a small rise in temperature. Along with the child’s high temperature there will be the following symptoms of infection.

  •  Cough, running nose
  •  Vomiting
  •  A Rash
  •  Earache.

Infants may also be irritable, fussy, breathing rapidly, lethargic at times and also you will notice changes in eating or sleeping habits.

Causes of fever in children

Fever in children can be caused by many conditions. Most common of all are the fevers caused by viral and bacterial infections that may include, colds, coughs, flu, and other viruses and also ear, throat and urine infections. It’s very rare that children develop fever as a symptom of conditions other than an infection, as there other conditions such as some cancers, kidney or liver that may also cause fever. A child may get mid fever as a side-effect of some immunizations.


Prevention of fever in children can be done if one takes care of personal and household hygiene. By following the few strategies one can prevent the spreading of bacteria and viruses.

  • Washing hands with soap and water.
  • Cleaning hands before touching food.
  • Having the child immunized.
  • Eating a healthy diet that includes fruits and vegetables.
  • Getting proper amount of sleep.

When to take your child to the doctor

Take your child to the doctor if you notice any of the following in your child with fever

  • You are unable to control fever of the child
  • You suspect that the child is dehydrated due to diarrhea, vomiting or is not drinking water.
  • You have taken the child to the doctor, but the condition is getting worse or there are few new symptoms that have developed.

Even if you have taken great care of the child, it is better to take your child to the hospital. The child will be seen by the doctor and he will evaluate the situation and provide the right treatment.

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