We all worry when our child has a fever. Fever is a sign that your child is fighting an infection, which could be viral (like a cold or the flu) or bacterial (like an ear infection or urine infection). Fever reducers are helpful to control the fever.
A newborn has a very vulnerable immune system so please call us if s/he has a fever at or above 100.4 rectally. An older child can tolerate a fever around 101 for 24-48 hours if clinically well.
The most important things you can do when your child has a fever are to improve your child’s comfort by making sure they drink enough fluids to stay hydrated and monitor for signs and symptoms of a serious illness. It is a good sign if your child plays and interacts with you after receiving medicine for discomfort.
Call your child’s doctor right away if your child has a fever and:
- Looks very ill, is unusually drowsy, or is very fussy
- Has been in a very hot place, such as an overheated car
- Has other symptoms, such as a stiff neck, severe headache, severe sore throat, severe ear pain, an unexplained rash, or repeated vomiting or diarrhea
- Has immune system problems, such as sickle cell disease or cancer, or is taking steroids
- Has had a seizure
- Is younger than 3 months (12 weeks) and has a temperature of 100.4°F (38.0°C) or higher
- Fever rises above 104°F (40°C) repeatedly for a child of any age
Also call your child’s doctor if:
- Your child still “acts sick” once his fever is brought down
- Your child seems to be getting worse
- The fever persists for more than 24 hours in a child younger than 2 years
- The fever persists for more than 3 days (72 hours) in a child 2 years of age or older
Always always follow your instincts and call us if you have questions!