A  A  A   Print
Fever in A NewbornFiebre en el Recién Nacido

Fever in A Newborn

Adults have a tightly controlled thermostat to help keep their body temperature at a normal level. When you are cold, You shiver, helping to raise your body temperature. When you are overheated, you sweat to help you cool off. These mechanisms are not completely developed in newborns. Newborns also lack the insulating fat layer that older babies and children have.

Because a newborn's temperature regulation system is immature, your baby may not have a fever with infection or illness. Fever in babies can be caused by other, more serious things. Call your baby's doctor immediately if your baby is younger than 3 months old and has a rectal temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher. 

Infection

Fever is a normal response to infection in adults, but only about half of newborns with an infection have a fever. Some, especially premature babies, may have a lowered body temperature with infection or other signs such as a change in behavior, feeding, or color.

Overheating

While it is important to keep a baby from becoming chilled, a baby can also become overheated with many layers of clothing and blankets. This can occur at home, near heaters, or near heat vents. It can also occur when a baby is overbundled in a heated car. Avoid placing a baby in direct sunlight, even through a window. Never leave a baby in a hot car even for a minute. The temperature can rise quickly and cause heat stroke and death.
An overheated baby may have a hot, red, or flushed face, and may be restless. To prevent overheating, keep rooms at a normal temperature, about 72°F  to 75°F (22.2°C to 24° C), and dress your baby just like you and others in the room.

Low fluid intake or dehydration

Some babies may not take in enough fluids which causes a rise in body temperature. This may happen around the second or third day after birth. If fluids are not replaced with increased feedings, dehydration (excessive loss of body water) can develop and cause serious complications. Intravenous (IV) fluids may be needed to treat dehydration.

 
Related Items

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.

Follow us online:

© 2014 Phoebe Putney Health System  |  417 Third Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701  |  Telephone 877.312.1167

Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.