Fever can be a nerve-wracking, anxiety provoking thing for parents and is the most common reason for after-hours calls to pediatricians. But what doctors want parents to know is that fever alone is nothing to be scared of and is just a symptom of illness. It shows that your child’s immune system is awakening, recognizing an infection and calling the body into action to deal with the infection. While fever is important in helping your child’s body fight infection it can be uncomfortable for your child. With a high fever comes a faster heart rate, increased breathing rates, shivers and usually a flushed and fussy child.
Fevers can be treated with supportive treatment along with medications:
- Keep your child’s room and your home comfortably cool, and dress them lightly.
- Encourage them to drink extra fluid or other liquids (water, diluted fruit juices, commercially prepared oral electrolyte solutions, gelatin [Jell-O], Popsicles, etc.)
- If the room is warm or stuffy, place a fan nearby to keep cool air moving.
- Sponge bathing with warm tepid water is another measure and will get fevers down an average of 1-2 degrees in 30-45 min -make sure the water is not cold and does not make your child shiver.
- Medications – Infant or Children’s Tylenol or Children’s Motrin are excellent fever reducers. Dosing charts can be found on the bottle itself or on our website under the “childhood illness” section.
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.
For more information on Fever:
For additional questions or concerns regarding fever, please call the office!