For most babies, when the temperature of the body is over the usual range from 98 to 100 F, it means that he or she has a fever, along with a wide range of illness. In addition, fever could be a sign that something serious or benign is going to happen, depending on the reason.


These days, one of the most precise method to check the fever is using a thermometer. However, it will be not always available in some situations. So how you would tell if your baby has fever without a thermometer. In this article, we will show you some common symptoms to notice fever in kid.

What are the common symptoms of fever in babies?

1. Feel the baby's neck or forehead

The most common method to find out a fever without using the thermometer is to check the baby's neck or forehead to see whether it gets hotter than normal.

  • You should use the back part of the hand as the skin of the palm is not sensitive other areas.
  • Do not check the fever by feeling a baby’s feet or hands because those parts could be cold when the body’s temperature of a baby is actually high.
  • Always bear in mind that this is just the initial step to find out if anything would be wrong, but it could not precisely show you whether your baby has a seriously high fever. The skin of a baby could feel clammy and cold sometimes when he has high fever, and might be really hot even when he does not have fever.
  • Ensure to determine the skin temperature of you baby in a place that is not too cold or hot. In addition, do not check when your child is sweating after playing.

2. Examine if the baby’s skin is red or flush

​A fever would often make the skin on the baby’s face or cheeks to become red. Nevertheless, it might be more challenging to see if the baby has dark skin.

3. See if the baby is lethargic

A fever would usually happen with extreme fatigue or lethargy. For example, your kid would refuse to get out of the bed, go out, play, lose the appetite or move and speak slowly.

4. Ask the baby if he or she feels pain

Aches in the body, especially joints and muscles, also usually occur in a fever. One of the most common experience would be the headache.

5. Figure out if the baby is dehydrated

When a baby suffers from a fever, becoming dehydrated would easily happen. Therefore, you should ask your child whether he or she is thirsty or whether his mouth is dry.

If the baby has bright yellow urine, it would be a sign that she or he is dehydrated as well as might has a fever.

6. Ask the kid if he or she feel like vomiting

Nausea would be a key sign of the fever. Therefore, remember to pay special attention if your kid is vomiting or feels nauseous.

7. Notice when you kid is sweating or shivering

When the body temperature of the baby is up and down, he or she often feels cold and shiver, while other people in the same place still feels comfortable.

As a result of the fever, you baby would also change the feeling between cold and hot.

​8. Notice any nervous fits that are less than 3 minutes

​Nervous fit is a form of shaking convulsion which occurs either while or before a kid has high body temperature. If the temperature is over 103, hallucination would happen. In general, about 1 out of 20 kids under 5 years old would suffer from nervous fit in any stages of development.

​Even though it could be distressed when your kid experiences a nervous fit, this problem actually does not lead to permanent harm. To treat a nervous fit, you should:

  • Place your kid on his or her side in a clear area or space on the ground.
  • During the convulsion, do not put anything in the mouth of your kid or hold him or her simply because he or she would not swallow the tongue.
  • Stay with the baby under the fit ends after one or two minutes.
  • Lay the kid on his or her side in a suitable position for the recovery.

How to know if the fever is serious

1. Immediately seek for medical attention when your kid’s nervous fit lasts mor than 3 minutes

This would mean an indication of more severe condition. You also need to call a doctor if the nervous fit is accompanied with:

  • Stiff necks
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Problems with breathing

2. When all above symptoms worsen or persist, you also need to see a doctor. Provide him or her a lot of water or mild and encourage your kid to take a rest.

3. When your kid has serious pain in the chest or abdomen, stiff neck and difficulty in swallowing, it is possible that he or she is facing Meningitis, which is a greatly contagious and highly threatening disease.

4. Hallucination, confusion and agitation would be the symptoms of a bacterial or virus infection, including pneumonia.

5. Blood in mucus, urine or stool means that your kid would suffer from more severe infection.

6. See a doctor to discuss other severe conditions which would lead to a fever. In general, there a wide range of illness that would result in fever. Therefore, remember to ask a doctor whether the fever would be the sign of the following ailments:

  • Arthritis
  • A bacterial or virus infection
  • Sunburn or heat exhaustion
  • Several drugs for blood pressure or antibiotics
  • A malignant tumor
  • A virus
  • Immunization such as acellular pertussis vaccine, tetanus or diphtheria

Nancy D. Richardson

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