When the teething phase starts, it also comes with a variety of problems and worries. Some of the effects that babies have when their teeth are poking out might scare the parents a lot! And the most serious side effect of teething is a fever.
But rest reassured that this symptom is not always a reason for concern. As a matter of fact, it might be more common than you imagine. Other common signs of teething are drooling, crankiness and lack of appetite.
As for fever, it may or may not be a sign of a serious issue. And to be able to tell the difference read through this guide!
Why do kids get a fever then?
First of all, you should know that teething causes the baby’s body temperature to rise. However, there will be a slight change in the temperature and it should not go over 100.4° F (38° C).
[alert type=”info” close=”false” heading=”Answer”] This happens because when the first teeth break through the gums, the body tends to interpret it as a minor infection and the immune system tries to fight it in a superficial way, by raising the body’s temperature. [/alert]
Inflammation in your baby’s gums is also a reason for a mild fever but nothing to be seriously worried about. However, such symptoms should always be acknowledged and observed by parents.
Teething commonly starts between 4 and 7 months and last up to 16 months. This doesn’t mean that your baby will experience different levels of fever constantly during this phase. But episodes of fever can be quite frequent and it is up to you to understand and manage them properly.
The highest risk of developing fever is when the primary incisors or front teeth are coming out, which typically occurs after six months. These teeth require the most energy from your baby’s body and are also challenging for their immune system. Keep in mind that at such young ages, children don’t have a completely developed immune system which makes them more exposed to such reactions.
Also, a mild temperature caused by teething will not last for long. Usually, teething fever lasts between one and three days and it is accompanied by other specific symptoms such as drooling, crankiness and even some mild rashes. If you notice your baby’s symptoms closely and analyze them in a proper way without panicking, you will be able to determine whether or not you should be concerned.
Even if teething causes so many problems to the majority of babies, there are some lucky cases in which no symptoms are present. It is estimated that one-third of babies don’t experience mild fever, drooling or any other symptoms during their teething phase. If your baby has no signs of discomfort during teething months, consider yourself blessed!
When is a fever not normal?
There is a fine line between normal fever associated with teething and severe one associated with some illness.
Sometimes, the fact that your baby develops a fever during teething is nothing more than a tricky coincidence. They might be sick and you could easily assume that their symptoms are just side effects of teething.
But you can stay away from these mistakes if you consider certain aspects:
The 1st thing that needs to be checked is how much fever your baby has. If it is higher than 100.4° F, they might be getting sick or may have caught some infection. And since their immune system is still developing, getting a virus is not a rare thing for young babies.
Once you notice high fever in your child, you should reach your pediatrician right away. Also, fever caused by sickness doesn’t go away so easily. It usually lasts for several days and comes with other symptoms such as coughing, sweating or a running nose.
Depending on the virus your baby contacted, they might also develop some skin reactions such as irritations or itchiness that you should watch out for. Vomiting and diarrhea are also signs that your baby might be ill and getting dehydrated. Such symptoms don’t have much in common with teething and they shouldn’t be mistaken for that.
If this is the case, try not to treat your baby with what you assume it is right for their condition. Have them seen by a doctor and make sure you follow the doctor’s instructions until your child feels better! Purchasing over the counter drugs might only make your baby feel worse and this is not a risk worth taking.
What can parents do to ease the teething phase
Teething is a very uncomfortable phase for babies especially as they can’t express their pains and problems. But as a parent, there are several things that you can do to make it easier on them and even avoid potential mild fever along with other symptoms altogether.
You will probably notice that your baby will have a natural instinct toward chewing during their teething months. While they will find things to chew on their own, it is always safer to provide these things for them.
Find safe chewing toys so they can strengthen their gums and find some relief during this challenging phase. A good trick is to keep their chewing toys in the fridge because they will love to chew them even more! Make sure these toys are completely clean and hygienic since they will go directly in your baby’s mouth.
Give them a gum massage
Massaging your baby’s gum is a very useful trick for many parents who deal with teething problems. You should clean your fingers very well and gently massage your baby’s gums from left to right. Observe their reactions and insist on the type of massage that seems to calm them down.
You can also use a hygienic washcloth to do the same thing. But if you choose the cloth massage type, try to find a cloth that is made of a soft and pleasant material that way you don’t irritate your baby’s gums even more!
Even if you should, try to avoid giving your baby medication of any kind without talking to your pediatrician, there can be some exceptions to the rule.
For instance, if your baby is older than six months of age and they present severe teething symptoms, you can use some Motrin or Tylenol to calm them down and help them relax. However, you should always ask the pediatrician about the dosage of medicine that it is safe to give to your child.
Dosage will vary according to the child’s age, weight and the severity of their symptoms. Acetaminophen is another option that should ease your baby’s teething symptoms. It is known for calming down their mild fever and can even eliminate it completely.
(NEVER GIVE DRUGS WITHOUT CONSULTING THE DOCTER)
What NOT to use when your baby is teething
While there are several good tips to follow when your baby is teething but there are certain things that you should not do as well. No matter what myths you hear about or what suggestions you get from your friends, try to not fall into the temptation to do the following mistakes!
Numbing gels might seem like a great idea to get your baby to forget about their teething discomfort but it is definitely not. These products numb the baby’s gums enough to not allow pain to be felt but they also come with side effects that can be very concerning.
Teething tablets or gels are not safe for your baby’s health because they contain dangerous ingredients such as benzocaine and belladonna. These ingredients are toxic for children when used in high doses and can generate other illnesses.
Amber Teething Necklaces
The myth that the amber teething necklaces might have a good impact on your baby during teething was never backed up by any science. But they expose your child to risks of strangulation or choking especially when you are not watching them. And this is a risk not worth taking so it is safer to stay away from such accessories.
It is very normal to be worried every time your baby is not feeling well or they present certain symptoms. But the best thing to do as a parent is to stay informed and be able to take the best decisions for your baby’s interest.
This article should offer you a complete picture when it comes to the connection between fever and teething. However, every time you have additional questions or concerns, you should talk to your pediatrician.
Only a doctor can guide you toward the best solution when it comes to your baby’s health and sometimes a visit to the clinic can save your baby from a lot of potential complications.
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