Teething and Fever

image001When it comes to taking care of children, parents never hesitate to learn from the experiences of other parents. This is especially true for newer parents who are relatively inexperienced in dealing with the problems of a growing child. One such example is teething and fever: when children are teething they show signs that may worry the parents such as low appetite, fever, sleep disturbance, nappy rash and diarrhea etc. Most doctors will tell you that fever is not a common symptom in teething babies, so is it normal for a baby to experience fever when teething?

Is Fever a Symptom of Teething?

The Answer

Experts say that fever is not a symptom of teething. Mostly babies don’t experience high grade fever during teething, they may have mild fever though but the parents should be alarmed if their child also catches diarrhea. Both these symptoms may indicate the presence of another disease.

Why Is It That Some Babies Have Fever When Teething?

Research has shown that teething and fever are not usually associated. So why do toddlers develop fever then? In the opinion of child specialists, the age group of teething toddlers coincides with the age they are developing acquired immunity (immunity gained by exposure to infectious agents), therefore although children might have teething and fever at the same time, chances are pretty high that the fever might be caused by other illnesses developing in them. This is one of the main reasons why parents should not take fever lightly during teething period.

It is imperative to understand that mild fever is usually reported (especially on the day of tooth eruption) but others symptoms like rash, high-grade fever, cough, diarrhea and changes in appetite are not normal.

Warning

Although it may be a little reassuring that your child is not supposed to develop high grade fever or other issues like sleeping difficulties or appetite changes while teething, it is important to understand that consistent fever is indicative of infectious diseases, mainly virus caused. If not identified early, it may lead to serious complications that are difficult to treat. Examples include stomach bugs, pneumonia and urinary tract infection.

What Are Some Notable Symptoms of Teething and How to Deal with Them?

The symptoms and signs a child shows during teething period may be very different. Some show pain and discomfort for a long time, while other babies might experience the symptoms for only a few days. The commonly occurring signs are as follows:

  • Inconsistent appetite
  • Increased sucking and biting action
  • Improper sleep hours (especially poor sleep at night)
  • Uneasy and increased crawling
  • Rubbing their face (particularly ears) on the same side where tooth eruption is occurring
  • Swollen gums that may give the face a puffy look
  • Increased salivation
  • Difficulty in eating solid food products

How to Manage a Teething Baby

Warnings: Make sure to speak to your doctor before applying any intervention and under no circumstances can you use alcohol or aspirin on the gum of baby (aspirin intake is frequently associated with a life threatening complication- Reye’s syndrome).

Small changes in child’s routine such as eating habits, use of tethering rings and maintaining proper oral hygiene can soothe the lives of both parents and child. The following interventions are particularly helpful in managing a teething baby in the best possible way:

Remedies

Description

Use pain-relieving creams or painkillers

Babies may show irritation or discomfort while they are teething, to help them with their uneasiness a number of measures can be taken. These include using a pain relief cream for baby’s gums, but this should be done only under doctor’s prescription. These creams help the baby through pain, which is often experienced when they grow teeth.

You can also give other infant pain-relievers (such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen for babies); although it is extremely important to seek help from your pediatrician before doing that.

Managing the rash on the face

Children may also develop a rash or acne around their mouth because of excessive salivation, in this case a mild acne cream or petroleum jelly is applied at night. Make sure not to rub the face with a towel or rough material. Usually soft cotton cloth is fairly helpful at softly wiping the face without damaging skin

Use teething rings

The baby can also be given something soft to chew; this will help them keep away from irritation caused to the gums. Parents can avail the use of “teething rings”. Cooling these rings can also soothe the painful gums for a while (it should be made sure that the rings are cleaned (or sterilized) properly and are not frozen or very hard. This is to avoid any damage to gums that are already inflamed and painful.

Chew on certain solid foods

If your baby is old enough to consume solid foods, you may start with teething crackers (unsweetened) like zwieback; however, the choice of foods is extremely important (for example avoid foods like carrot that are a choking hazard for the baby). Cold food either liquid or semi solids can relief the babies of pain and swelling. For temporary relief, you can also rub your clean finger on the gums of baby for quick but transient relief.

Watch a video for more helpful tips to deal with teething babies:

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