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Fevers and Children: Hot Tips

Author: CHKD Medical Group
Published Date: Monday, November 14, 2016

By Dr. Rosemary Ashman, Partners in Pediatric Care

Fever is the body’s natural way of fighting off an illness or infection. In an otherwise healthy child, it can be treated with an over-the-counter medication like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Never give aspirin to children or teenagers as it has been linked to a serious and potentially fatal disease, called Reye's syndrome. Although fever is not typically a cause for concern, there are times when it may indicate a more serious problem.

A temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit is considered a fever. Whether or not your child needs to see the pediatrician depends on his age and other symptoms. The following guidelines can help you decide if your child’s fever prompts a call to your pediatrician.

Call Your Pediatrician: 

  • If your child is younger than 3 months old and his temperature is greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • If your child looks very ill, is unusually drowsy or fussy and just isn’t acting like himself.
  • If your child’s fever lasts longer than 5 days.
  • If your child has additional symptoms such as a stiff neck, severe headache, severe sore throat, ear pain, an unexplained rash, or repeated vomiting and diarrhea.
  • If your child has an immune system problem like sickle cell disease or cancer. Or is taking steroids.
  • If your child has a seizure.
  • If your child's fever last longer than five days after receiving a fever reducing medicine.
  • If the fever persists for more than 24 hours in children under 2.
  • If the fever persists for more than three days in children older than 2.

  • With 18 practices in 28 locations throughout the region, a CHKD pediatrician is never far. The best thing you can do for a fever is make sure your child rests and drinks enough fluids to stay hydrated. Avoid dressing your child in overly warm clothing and consider a lukewarm bath to help bring down his temperature. It is a good sign if your child plays and interacts with you after receiving fever-reducing medicine. 

    About CHKD Medical Group

    Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has been the region’s most trusted name in pediatric care for more than 50 years. As members of CHKD Health System, our pediatricians work closely with CHKD’s full range of pediatric specialists and surgeons. They also share a commitment to quality, excellence and child-centered care. With 18 practices in 29 locations throughout the region, a CHKD pediatrician is never far.