How Long Can a Fever Last With a Virus in a 10-Month-Old?

Baby healthcare and treatment. Medical symptoms. Temperature mea
A medical practitioner taking an infant's temperature with a thermometer. (Image: Alexandr Dubovitskiy/iStock/Getty Images)

Fevers are common in children and can be a harmless sign that their immune systems are fighting an infection. In some cases, however, a fever in a 10-month-old child can become a cause for concern. A doctor should be called if the fever lasts for more than a day, if the body temperature rises above 102 to 103 degrees Fahrenheit or if the child has additional symptoms, such as convulsions, hallucinations, lethargy, severe headache or sore throat, unexplained rash, or repeated vomiting.

Virus Infections

A variety of virus infections can cause fever symptoms in infants. The most common of these infections are the flu and the common cold. Viruses that infect the respiratory system -- lungs and airways -- and the digestive system -- stomach and intestines -- are also common in infants. In addition, measles virus infections are a frequent cause of fever in children in developing countries.

Duration of Fever

A fever that lasts for less than a day in a 10-month-old child should not be a cause for concern, as long as the child's temperature is less than 102 to 103 degrees Fahrenheit and there are no additional symptoms. A doctor should be called if the child's fever lasts for more than 24 hours, even if there are no additional symptoms. This persistent fever could be a sign of a more serious condition.

Treatment

Fever symptoms in infants can be treated with acetaminophen or ibuprofen at a dose based on the child's age and weight. Dosage guidance can usually be found in the package instructions or on the bottle. Give the child a lot of fluids to prevent dehydration, which can make the fever worse.

Aspirin should not be given to children or adolescents with virus infections because it increases the risk of developing Reye's syndrome, a potentially fatal disorder that affects the brain and liver. If the fever is accompanied by chills, never cover the child up in blankets or extra clothes because these actions can increase the core temperature.

Taking an Infant's Temperature

The best way to take a 10-month-old infant's temperature is rectally. Lay the child on the stomach. Place a spot of petroleum jelly on the thermometer bulb and insert the bulb 1/2-inch to 1-inch deep into the rectum. Hold both the child and the thermometer still for three minutes, then remove the thermometer and read the temperature. To prevent injuries, do not let go of the thermometer while it is in the child.

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