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Recurrent Fever in Children

Recurrent Fever in Children

Recurrent fever in children affects their well-being and makes them susceptible to infections. It becomes a cause of worry for parents and guardians.
Azmin Taraporewala
Recurrent fever in children causes the body temperature to rise. This is usually understood as a symptom of an infection. Also referred to as chronic fever, recurrent fevers in children are fevers that occur sporadically over time. It is marked by a typical relapse tendency of the fever, with all the other symptoms connected to developing fever and high temperature. The hypothalamus located in the brain sends signals to the body in order to maintain an appropriate temperature.
When a person encounters illness or infection, the body reacts by raising the body temperature. A fever is the response of the body against the influx of an infection. This is a systemic reaction by the hypothalamus, thereby raising the body temperature, thus stimulating the immune system to fight infections and kill germs. Recurrent fevers in children can be diagnosed when the body temperature ranges from as low as 100.4 degrees F to as high as 104 degrees F.
You could measure a child's temperature by using a glass thermometer or a digital thermometer. A digital thermometer is preferred as this is an inexpensive, widely available alternative, yielding accurate results. The glass thermometers are not preferred much due to the presence of mercury. Mercury could pose to be risky in nature. However, if you are not able to find a digital counterpart, you are supposed to 'shake down' the mercury before using it. You may derive a rectal, armpit, oral or ear temperature, whichever your child is comfortable with, so that the rise in temperature can be measured.
Causes of Recurrent Fever in Children
Overdressing
This might be a reason that many parents and guardians would be surprised to read about. Well, when you wrap your little one and virtually bundle him up with blankets and comforters, you may find that there is a slight rise in the body temperature of your child. This is so because the hypothalamus in infants is not as matured as it is in older children, and thus the issue of regulating body temperature comes into the picture. When this happens, the body temperature rises. Parents must be very careful not to bundle up the child a bit too much, as this could lead to fever.
Infections
When children experience an infection, there is high probability that the child may counter recurring fever denoting an increase in temperature. However, it is common for children to experience fever with infection. One must be careful and administer care; and ensure that the immune system of the child remains strong and does not suffer any reactions. By being susceptible to constant cold, cough and fever, children may have a marked weak immunity system.
Familial Mediterranean Fever
Familial Mediterranean Fever, or FMF, is a genetic disease that leads to recurrent fevers, chest pains, body aches, and joint swelling.
Immunizations
Certain childhood immunizations can cause fever, this being a healthy sign of the body to fight against a foreign matter. The intensity, however, varies, depending upon the type of vaccination that was administered.
Treatment Options for Recurrent Fever
Fever reducing medication should be given, however, they should only be continued till bothersome symptoms do not persist anymore. Once they have disappeared, it is better not to continue with them. If the child is on a medication course of antibiotics, he / she must make it a point to complete the course, as leaving the course halfway can result in a relapse of the condition. Rest is required and a prerequisite to getting better, faster.
Your child can recoup well with rest as he is bound to experience tiredness and fatigue, and a bout of weakness after the fever has subsided. Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. Water or fluids are known to lower the body temperature and provide relief to the individual suffering from fever. Water also has the potency to clear the toxins and flush out the infection that is causing the rise in body temperature. Children who suffer from recurrent fever may benefit from taking a lukewarm bath or a sponge bath, followed by donning light and comfortable clothing.
Recurrent fever in children is not very uncommon, however, they must not be neglected. As parents, you must seek medical attention if the symptoms appear to alleviate.