Experts Warn Parents That Teething Does Not Cause Fever

Tags: health

Experts Warn Parents That Teething Does Not Cause Fever

As any parent will tell you, when your baby or toddler is cutting teeth, it can be a trying time.  Sore gums can cause your child to become irritable, salivate excessively, have a runny nose and maybe even experience some loss of appetite.  Whilst some children breeze through the teething period without any noticeable symptoms, the majority of parents experience a few fussy days, not to mention a few sleepless nights!

However, a study from the Royal Children’s Hospital in Victoria found that 70-85% of Australian parents mistakenly believed teething caused a wide range of health problems including fever.  Researchers examined the common misconception that teething can cause young children to develop a fever and analysed studies from eight different countries and determined that, whilst teething can make babies feel miserable, it usually won’t make them sick.

While the study, published in the March 2016 Paediatrics “Signs and Symptoms of Primary Tooth Eruption: a Meta-Analysis” (published online Feb. 18), found that a slight increase in temperature was detected on the day that the tooth erupted and possibly the following day too, the increase certainly didn’t constitute a true fever (a body temperature of 38 C or over), and was not present in the weeks or months prior to the tooth appearing as some parents assumed.  The authors pointed out that this was important because if a child develops a true fever, assuming that the cause is teething may lead doctors or parents to miss possible illness or infection that requires treatment.

Emali’s policy extract relating to Paracetamol and Ibuprofen:

As recommended by the Department of Education Children’s Services, Paracetamol and Ibuprofen will not be administered by any staff member at the centre.  Paracetamol and Ibuprofen can mask signs and symptoms of serious illness or injury.  Due to this, educators must not give Paracetamol or Ibuprofen as a standard first aid response to fever. If a child is in need of Paracetamol or Ibuprofen, then this suggests that they are not well enough to participate in the centre’s program and therefore not well enough to be in care.

The fact is that unfortunately the teething period also coincides with a period when babies and small children are prone to viral infections, so whilst your child may experience more illness and fevers during this time, they aren’t caused by the teething.  If your child has a fever, temperature over 38 C, we recommend making a visit to your GP or qualified healthcare provider.


Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions.  You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider.  Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your child’s health.