When your baby’s teeth start erupting from the gums, you’ll notice that she may be feeling a little off color from her normal self. Some babies experience very few troubling symptoms whereas others suffer each time a tooth emerges, until it’s safely through. When you notice a low-grade fever, it could mean that she is teething, but it could also be an indicator that something else is going on, such as a viral infection, so it’s important to rule out other possibilities before simply accepting that it’s a teething issue.
Some doctors are reluctant to agree that teething causes a rise in body temperature since there seems to be no genuine correlation. However, ask a parent who has been kept awake in the night with a feverish baby who develops no other viral symptoms, but pops a tooth, and you’re bound to receive a different answer entirely.
The truth is, children develop temperatures for a variety of reasons. A fever is a body’s natural response to something that is upsetting the normal balance of things in the body, and given that children have such small bodies, it’s no wonder that a fever will take hold to try to rid it of any potential for illness. Parents commonly worry about fevers and panic. They go into damage control and try to bring the fever down at any cost, but it’s important to remember that fevers are a protective mechanism; more the policeman than the culprit.
As for if a low-grade fever is ‘normal’ when teething, well you may not receive a definitive response from a medical professional. In such cases, they may simply reassure you that the fever is nothing to worry about knowing that the child is teething and provide advice on what to do about the teething issues in general.
A low-grade fever is categorized as temperatures ranging from 100.4 F (38 C) to 102 F (39 C). Whether or not you use a thermometer is up to you, but parents are generally good at knowing if their child feels unusually hot or not.
If the symptoms, including the fever, remain mild and don’t worsen over a few hours, then there is usually nothing to be concerned about. However, if you need more reassurance, you must see a medical professional, even if purely for your own peace of mind. No one can blame a parent for caring.
To remedy the temperature, simply administer baby formulations of mild pain relievers and always follow the correct dosage. Try to make baby as comfortable as possible and avoid panicking, even though this is difficult when your child is screaming and appears to be suffering.
We’ve all been through teething, which doesn’t make it any easier when you watch your baby experience it, and with your support and love, fever or no fever, she will sail through it and emerge a more toothy, smiley child!