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Fever in the Newborn

Mary's baby's cries cut through the night. She quickly went to check on her two-month-old son, Jack. To her surprise, Jack felt warm, and his skin was flushed. Mary knew that something was wrong and immediately took Jack's temperature. The thermometer read 38.3°C, and Mary's heart sank. She knew that a fever could signify a serious infection in a newborn.


What is fever in a newborn?

An average body temperature for a newborn is between 36°C and 37.2°C. A temperature higher than 38°C is considered a fever and should be taken seriously. Newborns have an underdeveloped immune system, making them more vulnerable to infections. Fever in a newborn can be a sign of a severe illness, such as sepsis or meningitis.


Symptoms that may accompany fever in a newborn

In addition to an elevated body temperature, other symptoms that may be seen include:

Seek medical attention immediately if a newborn has any of these symptoms, with or without fever.
Causes of fever in a newborn

Fever in newborns can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

Diagnosis and treatment of fever in newborns

If a newborn has a fever, it is essential to seek medical attention immediately. A healthcare provider will perform a physical examination and ask about any symptoms the newborn is experiencing. They may also order teststo determine the cause of the fever.

The treatment for a fever in a newborn will depend on the cause. If an infection is the cause, antibiotics may be prescribed. If a vaccine reaction caused the fever, no treatment is necessary as the fever will resolve on its own. In some cases, over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen, may reduce fever.

Prevention of fever in newborns

Some steps can be taken to reduce the risk of fever in newborns, including:


Fever in a newborn can be a sign of a severe illness and should not be taken lightly. Seek medical attention right away. By following proper hygiene practices and keeping vaccinations up-to-date, parents can reduce the risk of fever in their newborns.

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