Ask any parent about what they worried most about with their first born and they will likely tell you that they came in to this world healthy and stayed that way. For a lot of new parents, fevers are a source of great concern. We asked a pediatrician at McGreevy when we need to worry about fevers and when that means a trip to the ER.
New parents have so many things to worry about when they bring their new baby home. Pediatrician Dr. Kara Bruning at the main McGreevy Clinic Avera says caregivers are right to be concerned if their baby is running a fever.
Dr. Bruning says, "When babies are 2 months old or younger get sick, they go down hill in a hurry. They could have meningitis, urinary tract infection, bacteria in their blood steam we just don't know those things until we take a look at the child and run some tests.
Dr. Bruning says the best way to take a baby's temp is with a rectal thermometer. She says if it's over 100 degrees you should get them to the doctor as soon as possible. It is a different story for older babies, toddlers and grade school aged kids.
Dr. Bruning says, "If they are older than 6 months they can have Motrin and you don't have to worry about it. Fever is actually a good thing. It's your body's way of fighting something. Don't panic. If their fever is 102 or 103 give them some Motrin or Tylenol and if it comes down you are ok. If the fever is 105 then you might want to think about calling your doctor. It's something to think about, but not panic over, unless your baby is really little."
Parents have a tendency to really bundle up their babies so those babies have a tendency to overheat. If you think they are running a fever take the blankets off, let them sit for a couple of minutes and then take their temperature.
Dr. Bruning says, "If they still have a fever greater than 100 they need to be seen right away."
Dr. Bruning says don't work yourself into a fever pitch. It really boils down to this; if your baby or child feels hot take their temp. If the baby is running a fever get moving to get them in to the doctor.
Dr. Bruning recommends a regular run-of-the mill hand held thermometer for toddlers and kids. She says you don't have to spend a lot of money this works just fine if you just hold it under their armpit. She does not recommend the pacifier thermometers (she says they just don't work well) or the ear thermometers because it's hard to get a good seal with them.