The definition of fever in a child is a temperature greater than or equal to 100.4° F in children under 3 months of age and greater than 101° F in older children. Generally, fever reducers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin) are helpful in making your child feel better but are not strictly necessary.
Fevers in children are incredibly common, and often indicate an infection of some sort. Most often, viruses are the cause of childhood fevers, although a fever in a child can indicate a more serious infection or other problems.
- The maximum temperature does not predict the severity of the illness
- Your child's temperature (from illness) will generally not ever get so high that something bad will happen to them
- Remember to keep children with fever hydrated: when the body temperature rises, dehydration comes on more quickly than when the temperature is normal
- You do not have to give fever medicine, especially if your child doesn't seem very bothered by the fever
- Do not give ibuprofen to children under 6 months of age
- Rectal temperatures are the most accurate way to measure a fever in babies and children
- For older children, all alternatives to rectal temperatures have their pros and cons, ear thermometers do seem to be the least accurate however
Signs your child with a fever should seek medical care
- Fever more than 72 hours
- Dehydration from poor fluid intake
- Your child is sleepy, not easy to wake up, or not responding normally
- Any time you are concerned your child has a serious infection
- Fever and labored breathing
- Any fever in an infant under 3 months of age
At Brave Care, our pediatric experts are here to quickly and accurately diagnose the cause of your child's fever. After all, the most important thing is to answer the question as to the cause of the fever and treat your child appropriately. Schedule, call, or simply walk in. We're here for you.