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How is fever in one part of the body treated in children ?

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General & Family Physician
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hello sir or madam, my son is just five years old, from the last 3 days he is having fever, we consulted doctor and given medicine. but from yesterday we r observing that his body temp is normal but head is hot like 39 c plus minus. we worried what could be the reason. please suggest what should we do. thanks.
Posted Wed, 25 Apr 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Deepak Anvekar 30 minutes later
Hello Shani,

Thanks for your query.

Most fevers are good for sick children and help the body fight infection. Most fevers usually do not subside within 3-4 days in small kids, as this is the initial period when the body is fighting the infection.

Use the following definitions to help put your child's level of fever into perspective:

100°-102°F (37.8° - 39°C) Low grade fevers: beneficial, desirable range

102°-104°F (39 - 40°C) Mild fever: still beneficial

Over 104°F (40°C) Moderate fever: causes discomfort, but harmless

Over 105°F (40.6°C) High fever: higher risk of bacterial infections

Over 106°F (41.1°C) Very high fever: important to bring it down

Over 108°F (42.3°C) XXXXXXX fever: fever itself can harm brain

From the history available, most of her temperatures have been around 102°F, hence there is no need to panic. You might continue to complete the full course of the medicines prescribed by your doctor.

In Addition follow the supportive measures mentioned below to see beneficial response.

1. Cold sponges might be helpful to reduce the body temperature.
How to sponge: Use lukewarm water (85 - 90° F) (29.4 - 32.2° C). Sponge for 20-30 minutes. If your child shivers or becomes cold, stop sponging or increase the water temperature.

2. Give cold fluids orally in unlimited amounts (reason: good hydration replaces sweat and improves heat loss via skin).

3. Dress in 1 layer of light weight clothing and sleep with 1 light blanket (avoid bundling). (Caution: overheated kids can't undress themselves.)

In case you still have any doubts , consulting a pediatrician might be reassuring.

I hope this helps.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: How is fever in one part of the body treated in children ? 1 hour later
sir actually i am not much worried about the fever but the situation where his other body part is normal and head is high fever. we use ear thermometer that is showing 39.1 c but when we put another thermometer under arms it is showing 36.7. why this difference. one more thing at night time when he sleeps we use koolfever strip on his forehead to control the high fever, is it right practice. please advise both the thing in detail. thanks for ur support
Answered by Dr. Deepak Anvekar 13 hours later
Hello Again,

Thanks for the follow up.

Different parts of the body have different temperatures.
Measurements taken directly inside the body cavity (ears), are typically slightly higher than oral measurements, and oral measurements are somewhat higher than skin temperature (Armpit temperature).

Although some people think of these numbers as representing the normal temperature, a wide range of temperatures has been found in healthy people.
The average normal core body temperature (taken internally) is 37.0°C (98.6 °F).

Please note the range of normally observed temperature in kids.
for oral temperature is 33.2–38.2 °C (92–101 °F),
for rectal it is 34.4–37.8 °C (94–100 °F),
for the tympanic cavity it is 35.4–39.8 °C (96–100 °F) and
for axillary it is 35.5–37.0 °C (96–99 °F).[4]

Hence the readings seen in your kid are well within the normal range of temperature and hence there is no need to worry about it.

With respect to the use of Kool strips to reduce fever, they just provide surface cooloing action and comfort to the kid and reduce your anxiety. But they do not help to treat the main cause that is producing the fever.

You can achieve the same results by cold sponges that I have described in the answer above.

Please note that the following signs if seen in your kid, along with the high temperature, then it could be due to something to be worried about :-

‎1. Your child looks or acts very sick ; Not alert when awake
‎2. Any difficulty breathing
‎3. Great difficulty swallowing fluids or saliva
‎4. Child is confused (delirious) or has stiff neck or bulging soft spot
‎5. Had a seizure with the fever
‎6. Very irritable (e.g., inconsolable crying or cries when touched or moved)
‎7. Won't move an arm or leg normally
‎8. Signs of dehydration (very dry mouth, no urine in more than 8 hours, etc.)
‎9. Burning or pain with urination

In case, your kid has some of the above signs and symptoms in the list, you might consult your pediatrician for proper physical examination and specific treatment.

I hope this clears your doubts.


Dr Anvekar.

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