The negative effect of high temperature (fever) on the growth and development of the child
Fever depresses gastric motility. Based on his own research and literature, van Miert concluded that fever inhibits gastric motility and slows down its emptying, which in turn leads to anorexia and a decrease in fluid intake and calories in the body. In addition, delayed gastric emptying is accompanied by vomiting.
Fever can disrupt the growth and development of the fetus and baby. A number of studies have shown that fever in a pregnant woman can be dangerous for a developing fetus and even be teratogenic. Edwards revealed a prenatal delay in brain development in guinea pigs under the influence of hyperthermia. Later, their ability to learn was impaired.
In humans and animals, a relationship (not necessarily causal) was found between prenatal fever or hyperthermia and fetal abnormalities, including dysmorphogenetic signs and neurological pathology, especially anencephaly. Pleet described 28 children with such neurological disorders and facemorphogenetic changes on the face who were born to mothers who had a fever to 39 ° C and higher in the first 3 months of pregnancy.
It is important to note that in 3 cases of hyperthermia in pregnant women was caused by prolonged use of a hot bath or sauna, and not infection and fever. In one retrospective study of pregnant women, it was not confirmed that the incidence of congenital malformations was increased due to the mother’s fever in the first trimester of pregnancy, but the authors concluded that the examined group (178 women) was apparently too small to reveal such dependence.
Since the growth and development of the brain lasts up to 2 years or even more, it can be assumed that prolonged fever in early childhood has a negative effect on the brain in this easily detectable period of its development. However, there is currently no evidence to support this hypothesis.