Month 8 Worry: Is Fever Dangerous to My Infant?
The most common medical concern for parents of babies this age
What the Docs May Do
Reassurance, reassurance, reassurance! I spend a lot of time both on the phone and in the office calming parents about their febrile infants. Pediatricians check many infants on a daily basis and find no bacterial cause for concern. These parents and infants leave the office with a viral diagnosis, some parental peace of mind, and a list of things to watch for (see above). I never refuse to see a concerned parent in the office, but often will suggest they wait until the fever has brewed for 72 hours unless there is some other cause for concern.
Infants who have had their first febrile seizure require a detailed retelling of the story and a careful physical exam. If everything checks out—that is there’s nothing worrisome or atypical in the story or exam—these babies go home with their parents. Parents of infants who have recurrent febrile seizures are taught to manage them at home. These infants grow up to be normal kids, in general, and outgrow febrile seizures by about age five.
More 8th Month Health Help
Even the most confident parent has concerns about her child’s health and wellness from time to time. (If you have any pressing concerns or questions about your baby’s health, please check with her healthcare provider.)
- What was last month’s most popular health worry?
- Learn which medical question you might have next month.
- Here’s what else is happening with your baby’s health and development this month.
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