A fever is not an illness of its own. It is really just the body’s healthy reaction to an infection. So, for a baby older than 6 months, a low-fever can actually be a good thing. Fever in babies can either indicate an infection (which could be accompanied with a cold) or that your baby is teething. A fever, as you may know, would result in the body producing an increased number of white blood cells, antibodies and a protein called interferon in order to protect the body from foreign microorganisms.
These microorganisms thrive at normal body temperature. By raising the body temperature, the body is actually preventing these microbes from growing, reproducing and spreading.
Fun Fact: Creatures in the animal kingdom move to warmer regions to initiate a fever when they are ill so that their body starts producing the necessary antibodies and white blood cells required to fight these foreign bodies. Also, the increased temperature would cause all those germs and bacteria to perish.
Also, a fever will help carry the iron to the liver so as to keep it away from the foreign bacteria. Thus, letting a mild fever run its course can help reduce the effects of the cold and flu accompanying the fever and help them get over the fever sooner. In fact, experts suggest that comforting a child with a fever is an effective way to help a child get better.
Here are a couple of cases wherein you should be worried about that fever:
1. There is a built-in thermostat in the brain that prevents the body from crossing the 106-degree threshold. So, when the fever hits a temperature above 106 degrees Fahrenheit, it can cause brain or heart problems.
2. When the baby is less than 3 months old, a fever should be brought to the notice of a doctor.
3. If the temperature crosses 100 degrees when the baby is less than 6 weeks old, they should be taken to the hospital immediately since, at this age, they are prone to a number of serious bacterial infections.
4. If the fever is accompanied by lethargy or just your child being noticeably unfocused and unresponsive, it could mean that the infection is causing them to feel more tired than usual.
5. The fever may be accompanied by a lot of crying due to discomfort. If the crying becomes inconsolable, contact your doctor.
6. Something could be wrong if the fever doesn’t go away even after 5 days.
Now, even if you decide to not treat a fever, you should keep track of it and be on the alert for any symptoms that your child may have. If you notice anything strange, talk to the doctor about it. Going forth, keep track of the patterns and how long the fever lasts.