(812) 522-2349
Fever in Children
Dr. Richard DeVuyst, Schneck Pediatrics - March 14, 2018
Fever is one of the most common reasons parents bring their children to my clinic, and there is a great deal of misunderstanding around it. First, let’s clear up some common misperceptions about fever.

Common Misperceptions

Myth: Any temperature higher than 99 means a child is sick.
Truth: Everyone experiences normal, healthy fluctuations in body temperature. It’s important to pay attention to what’s happening along with a raised temperature. I’ve seen healthy children with a temperature of 100, and sick children with temperature of 98.6. 
Myth: If a child does not have a fever, he or she is not sick. 
Truth: Not every illness that can cause problems in children causes a fever, so the absence of a fever doesn’t necessarily mean a child is healthy. However, I’ve never seen a child with a temperature above 101 who didn’t have an illness of some kind, whether viral or bacterial.
Myth: A high fever can damage a child.
Truth: The underlying cause of a fever is more likely to cause harm than the fever itself. That said, a fever higher than 104 can be dangerous, so a child with a fever that high should see a pediatrician.
Myth: Fever makes illness worse, so lowering a fever treats the illness.
Truth: There is no evidence that fever makes an illness worse, or that lowering a fever with medicine treats the underlying illness. However, lowering a fever can make a child more comfortable, which can prevent other problems, such as dehydration.

When to Visit Your Pediatrician

The key to knowing when your child needs to see a doctor is to pay attention to what else is happening when a fever is present. Not every child with a temperature higher than 101 needs to be seen. If a 3-year-old with a mild cough, a runny nose and a temperature of 101 is not experiencing trouble breathing, is drinking well, and seems happy and playful, he or she likely can be monitored at home. However, if a 3-month-old baby with a temperature of 100.9 is not drinking and is breathing hard, this child should be seen right away.
Visit the doctor if:
  • Your child is younger than 2 months old and has a fever higher than 100.5.
  • Your child (of any age) has a fever higher than 104.
  • The fever is not improved with Tylenol or ibuprofen.
A child with a fever can be monitored at home if:
  • He or she is older than 2 months and is not experiencing dehydration or trouble breathing.
  • The fever is lower than 104.
Blog postsBlog posts RSS

Recent Posts

March 19, 2019

February 26, 2019

January 30, 2019

All Tags

Indianapolis Web Design and Web Development by Bitwise Solutions