Fevers are frightening for parents: They know their child is sick yet don’t know why. If you’re worried or unsure about whether your child should see a doctor, please contact Dr. Paul Irra and Dr. Katarina Ondrejicka at Naples Pediatrics in Naples, Florida. They’re here to help, to give advice about home treatments, and to offer guidance about when your child’s fever needs immediate medical attention.
When children (and adults) get a fever, their higher-than-normal body temperature is a sign that they’re fighting an infection. The body automatically responds to an infection by sending special cells to fight the infection and telling the brain to raise the body’s temperature.
A high body temperature actually helps the cells fighting off the infection. It also helps eliminate the problem because it makes the body a less friendly place for invading infections to survive.
The body’s normal temperature is 98.6℉. A temperature over 100.4℉ is considered a fever. It’s important to take your child’s temperature with a thermometer rather than relying on how they feel to your touch.
Children may develop other symptoms before their fever is evident. They may become less talkative, stop engaging in activities, refuse food, and become very thirsty. They may have noticeable symptoms of the illness that are causing the fever. For example, parents may notice a rash or their child may complain of an earache, a sore throat, or a stomachache.
For infants younger than three months old, call Naples Pediatrics immediately if:
For children older than three months old, call Naples Pediatrics immediately if your child exhibits any of the following:
Call us during normal office hours if:
Children can take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to lower a fever, but please follow the doses recommended on the package, so they don’t take too much medication. Do not give your child aspirin: It may cause a severe disease called “Reye syndrome.”