Child Fever: When To Seek Medical Care

By: Alex Fagundes

June 17, 2024

Mom taking young daughter's temperature

When your child has a fever, worrying about their discomfort and illness is natural. However, fevers are part of the body's defense against infections, aiding your child's recovery. While rest and home remedies often help, it's important to know when to seek medical attention to keep your little ones safe and healthy.

Symptoms of a Fever

Fevers can be caused by infections, teething, vaccinations, hot environments, and autoimmune diseases. During a fever, your child may experience visible symptoms such as:

  • Chills
  • Disinterest in food
  • Fussiness
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Cough/Congestion
  • Feeling warm to touch
  • Vomiting/Diarrhea

Providing Comfort to Your Child

Use these recommendations to make your child feel more comfortable as they recover.

  • Use lightweight clothing and blankets to help regulate their body temperature.
  • Encourage hydration by providing clear fluids and offer soft, easy-to-digest foods.
  • Sponge bath with lukewarm water (do not use cold water as it can worsen symptoms.)
  • Offer restful and quiet activities.
  • Check with your child’s pediatrician to see if you can give them acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  • Continue to monitor symptoms and temperature.

When to Seek Medical Attention

Trust your instincts and always lean on the side of caution. In certain situations, a fever may need medical attention and treatment.

Please call and schedule an urgent appointment with your Renown Children’s healthcare provider if:

  • Fever persists more than 3 days (or over 24 hours for child younger than 2 years old)
  • Your child seems to be getting worse
  • Your child still acts sick once fever is brought down

Here’s when to visit the Renown Pediatric Emergency Room:

  • If your child is younger than 12 weeks (about 3 months) with any fever
  • If your child is younger than 3 months and has a rectal temperature of 100.4°F or higher
  • Fever above 104° at any age
  • Has been in extremely hot environment
  • Has other severe symptoms – such as headache, ear pain, or unexplained rash
  • Difficulty breathing or chest pain
  • Seizures
  • Signs of dehydration
  • Lethargy (Difficult to wake up or excessively irritable)
  • Underlying health conditions

If you have any concerns or questions about fever symptoms, remedies, or medications, please contact your child’s pediatrician.

    • Previous Article

    How to Protect Your Kids from Heatstroke

    With the dangerous heat wave impacting our region, there are heightened risks of heatstroke, especially for children who cannot regulate their body temperature as efficiently as adults. Infants are particularly vulnerable and may not...
    Read More
    • Next Article

    Childproof Your Windows: 8 Tips to Avoid Falls and Ensure Safety

    Enjoying the fresh air through an open window is one of the many ways to enjoy the weather. However, open windows can pose safety risks, including injury or fatalities for young children aged two to five. We spoke with Jorge...
    Read More