Let’s talk about fevers and how to manage that at home. The best thing for you to do is to have a thermometer that you can check your child’s temperature and know what it is accurately. So that means if you’ve got a baby under one year of age, it needs to be a rectal thermometer, as uncomfortable as that is.
Kids that are older can use other thermometers – that’s fine. Cut-offs for when you need to be seen are babies under two months of age: anything above 100.4 will need to be seen that day.
Babies between two months and three years of age it’s a little bit higher, but there’s gonna be a lot that you have to consider, like other symptoms. I would say that babies between two months and three years of age, if they have a fever above 102, they’ll need to be seen within the next 24 hours. If it’s a little under 102, based on their other symptoms we still may need to see them that day or the next day.
Any child of any age that has the temperature over 104 should be seen that day. For more details, look at the information on the page below this video or call our office if you have questions.
Fevers by themselves are not dangerous to children. Among the greatest myths of medicine is that a high fever can cause brain damage or infertility. This is simply not true. The worst possible complication of the fever itself is a febrile convulsion. As scary as these events may be, they are rare and are not dangerous to children. Millions of children have had febrile convulsions and there has been no documented long lasting brain damage. If your child were to have a convulsion, make sure he is not in a place where he can get hurt by falling or banging himself against anything. There is no need to put anything in his mouth. He cannot swallow his tongue. The child should be taken to the nearest emergency room for evaluation, to make sure there is no other reason for the convulsion. For the most part, however, no additional reason will be found and the child will be discharged home.
Regardless of age or degree of fever, if your child appears very ill, floppy, irritable beyond consoling, has any difficulty breathing, or is acting disoriented or confused, they should be seen immediately.
Any child with a specific complaint such as earache, cough, or pain with urination should be see at earliest convenient time. A child who is acting well with no complaints, but with fever, can be managed at home.
Other tips for treating fever at home include: dressing you child lightly, increasing clear fluids, and giving your child a warm bath, as well as treating appropriately with Tylenol or Motrin, based on your child’s weight.
If at any time you have doubts or concerns about your child, or about whether or not you need to take him to the emergency room, please feel free to call and speak to one of our pediatric nurses.