Archive for October, 2010

What to do When Your Baby has a Fever

Unfortunately colds and fevers are not just confined to older children and adults, they are also a common occurrence among babies and toddlers.  The human body is a very complex organism which shifts and changes when affected by things in the environment.  Normally the body has a temperature of 37 degrees Celsius or 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit regardless of the age of the person.  A persons temperature may be elevated due to a number of reasons and once the individuals temperature has reached 38°C or 98°F or above they are said to be running a temperature or having a fever.

Fevers and an elevated temperature are common among babies and toddlers with most resulting from the child having a virus or an infection.  Babies will catch viruses and have illnesses a lot during this stage of their life as the immune system is still developing and creating defences against the many viruses and sicknesses that they may encounter.  The main side effect of the body fighting a virus or infection is a rise in the bodies temperature or a fever.

If a child develops a fever there are a few things that you can do at home to make them a little more comfortable while their temperature is elevated.  The following are some things that you can do for your child if they have an elevated temperature or fever.

It is important not to panic if your child has a fever as this is all part of the growing up stage for a baby.  Making the baby as comfortable as possible is important as they will be restless and feel miserable during this time.

In some cases it is good to use some over the counter medication such as Paracetamol to help with the elevated temperature.  There are many medications that are designed specifically for children so check with your pharmacist to determine which one is best for your baby.

If your baby has a fever that is quite severe , such as having a temperature above 40°C it is advised that you see a doctor or take your baby to hospital.  Fevers that are severe may indicate that the child has an illness that needs to be treated before their temperature can be reduced.  Children should also be taken to see a doctor if they have a fever for more than 5 days in a row.

Preventing and Treating Baby Constipation

Constipation is a common problem for young and older children and can be a horrible thing for both child and parent to go through.  Constipation can be caused by a number of different things however the most common cause is when children are first introduced to solid foods.  This introduction of solid food, especially to breast feed babies can take some adjusting as the babies digestive system is only use to digesting milk and has to change once solid food is introduced.  Some other causes of baby constipation include over feeding of foods such as bananas, breads, pasta and cereals, a diet that is high in dairy products and also feeding the baby a diet that is low in fibre.

Recognising and treating baby constipation can be as simple as changing the babies diet however children that have severe constipation should be checked out by a doctor as there could be a more serious underlying problem that needs to be treated.  Most babies will at some stage suffer from an episode of constipation, the following is a guide for parents on some treatment methods and preventative measures for babies that have or are prone to constipation.

Babies can sometimes suffer from constipation if they are dehydrated.  Increasing the amount of fluids the child consumes can help with reducing or even preventing constipation.  Increasing a babies fluid intake can easily be done by offering watered down juice or just plain water throughout the day.

Another constipation remedy is giving your baby some watered down prune juice in addition to any other water or juice they have.  The prune juice helps to soften the babies stool which makes it easier to pass.  Some babies may not want to drink prune juice even when it is watered down so it is possible to use apple juice which works but not as effectively as prune juice.

Avoiding or switching from highly processed foods can also alleviate or reduce the instances of baby constipation.  Highly processed foods lack things such as fibre which is needed to produce soft easy to pass stools.  Increasing your child’s intake of fresh fruit and vegetables should help to address the problem if the constipation is a result of eating too much processed food.

If your baby has severe constipation or problems with bowel movements it is recommended that you seek medical advice from a doctor.  Other remedies for preventing or treating constipation such as using laxatives need to be done safely under the guidance of a doctor.