- Fever is the temporary increase in the body’s temperature in response to a disease or illness.
- A fever is classified medically as a temperature reading at or above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38C)
- Viral or bacterial infections and illnesses (strep throat, ear infections)
- Respiratory infections (cold, flu, RSV) – Gastrointestinal infections or diseases (stomach bug, appendicitis, diarrhea)
- Infections of the bone, skin, or urinary tract (cellulitis, osteomyelitis, urinary tract infection)
A simple cold or other viral infection can sometimes cause a high fever (102°F to 104°F or 38.9°C to 40°C). This does not mean your child has a serious problem. Ways to treat the fever and symptoms are:
- Over the counter antipyretics
- Dress children in light, loose fitting clothing that doesn’t trap heat
- Increase fluid intake
- Tylenol (acetaminophen) and Motrin (ibuprofen) are essential over the counter medications used to help treat and reduce fevers seen in pediatric patients.
- Tylenol can be given every 4-6 hours
- Motrin can be given every 6-8 hours (not intended for use in pediatric patients under 6 months of age)
- To properly control and maintain fevers when they first begin, it is best to alternate the two medications appropriately.
- Pediatric patients are treated by these antipyretic medications based on their weight. It is important to know your child’s weight for appropriate and accurate dosing amounts.
Please seek or contact medical professionals:
- If a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38C) is present in infants 3 months or younger –
- If any seizure like activity is noted with fever
- If fever is present for longer than 24-48 hours and appropriate antipyretic treatment has been given with no improvement of symptoms – If any other symptoms accompanied by fever such as sore throat, abdominal pain, diarrhea, pain with urination or vomiting
- If the patient has a serious medical illness, such as a heart problem, sickle cell anemia, diabetes, or cystic fibrosis
- If the patient has muscle/bone pain and weakness, stiff neck, unable to walk
- If decreased cognitive function, difficultly to arouse or has increased irritability is noted
- If recent travel has occurred