Helping your baby when they’re hurting.
Nothing compares to holding your baby for the first time.
If you could bundle up the entire universe and place it in your hands, it wouldn’t feel as weighty, as significant, as awe-inspiring as holding a tiny human. Unique. Dignified. Vulnerable. Fragile.
Of course, the magic does wear off – a little. But there is still something undeniably special about the privilege and responsibility of looking after this little person, helping them grow and flourish into the person that they were always meant to be.
It’s also why it can be so confronting when your baby experiences fever and pain. Before you reach for the Panadol baby drops, it’s worth thinking about the signs and causes of fever and pain in your baby. A little learning can go a long way.
Does my baby have a fever?
Of course, the most obvious sign that your baby has a fever is … heat. You might like to invest in a high-quality baby thermometer, if you don’t already have one in your medicine cupboard or first aid kit, along with appropriate Panadol baby products.
Alongside this, a baby with a fever may also:
- Feel very warm or hot
- Sleep more than expected
- Cry and act in an irritable manner
- Appear to be in pain
If your baby is under three months and has a fever of 38 degrees or higher, take them to the emergency department. If your baby is between three and twelve months, take them to see a doctor immediately. This is because a fever may be the sign of a serious underlying illness that is not immediately apparent.
If you’re your baby is over three months of age, they may still require urgent medical attention. You should call Triple Zero if your child has a fever and symptoms including:
- Listlessness and unresponsiveness
- Loss of consciousness or have a fit or seizure for the first time
- Breathing difficulties
This might seem extreme. It certainly can feel frightening! The good news is that in the vast majority of cases, fevers are rarely harmful. If necessary, seek medical attention to get the thumbs up from a trusted professional.
What causes a fever?
Ever touched the hood of your car after a long drive? It’ll be warm – maybe even hot. This isn’t a design flaw; don’t call up Toyota asking for a replacement! It’s a sign that the engine is doing its job.
In the case of many fevers, the same is true. Fevers occur as the body fights infection.
We can blame most of these infections on viruses. According to Lotti Tajouri, Associate Professor of Genomics and Molecular Biology at Australia’s very own Bond University, ‘Viruses are the most common biological entities on Earth.’ There’s about 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 of these entities snaking around the planet. And no, that’s not a typo.
These viruses include:
- The flu
As you can probably tell, they vary greatly in severity!
Fortunately, our bodies are good at warding off and – if necessary – fighting off these viruses. Fever is often part of this fight.
Some fevers can also be caused by bacteria or other underlying health conditions. While fever is often a normal and even natural bodily response, they can cause pain and discomfort.
Pain relief for fever in children
There are many products available that help to alleviate pain in infants. The Panadol baby line has a range of products suited to the needs of your family, and I’ll talk more about these later. Before I get there, it’s worth knowing that there are some non-medical ways to help relieve pain in your baby.
Firstly, there are distraction techniques. These help to take your baby’s mind off the pain. For a baby under six months of age, these include gently patting your baby, rocking them, and speaking gently to them. For a toddler, it might involve blowing bubbles, singing a song, reading a book, or playing with toys that emit a soft, soothing sound or that light up in an engaging way. Your baby isn’t so different from you: when you’re in pain, direct your attention away from what hurts!
Secondly, there are what I call presence techniques. To put it simply: stay near to your child. Show them that they are loved. Stroke their face, hold them close, and emit love the way the sun emits light and heat. Does that sound a little bit unscientific to you? Maybe it does. But ask any parent: it really works.
Thirdly, ensure that they keep their fluids up. For babies still breastfeeding, give extra breastfeeds. Ensure that your baby is drinking enough, as dehydration can lead to very significant health problems in the short- and medium-term.
Panadol baby products: active relief for tenacious pain
Unfortunately, the simple steps outlined above aren’t always effective. Panadol can be given to children who are over a month old, and it is the brand of choice of 83% of mothers. This isn’t surprising – Panadol has been operating for over sixty years in Australia, making it one of the oldest and most trusted medicine brands in the country.
Always make sure you read the label carefully. This will help you select a strength and dosage suitable to your baby’s age and weight. Of course, this should go without saying: use all products only as directed, and see your doctor if symptoms persist or if concerns arise.
Depending on the age and stage of your child, you might consider:
- Panadol baby drops provide rapid relief for children one month to one year of age. The product includes a dropper for your convenience and comes in a gentle cherry vanilla flavour.
- Panadol colour-free suspension is suitable for children between one and five years of age. It’s sugar and colour free, comes in a choice of flavours, and offers relief from pain caused by fever, teething, earaches, headaches, and cold and flu symptoms.
- Panadol suppositories are effective in children who are older than six months and younger than five years of age. These are suitable for children who are vomiting regularly or who refuse (or are unable) to take oral medication.
Whatever your choice, we’ve got you covered.
Restore the wonder
I started this piece by talking about the privilege, the awe, the amazement, of holding a baby. Of course, this can all be replaced by uncertainty, concern, and even fear when your baby is unwell. That’s why it’s important to know what to do when your baby has a fever. It will let you get back to normal as soon as possible by restoring the wonder.