While you may know that a fever is usually nothing to be concerned about, that probably doesn’t always stop you from worrying. You’re a parent. Part of your job description is to worry, sometimes needlessly. But being armed with the best information can help you combat those fears and care for your baby because knowing (almost) everything is also part of your job description – until the teenage years.
Why children get fevers
The body’s internal temperature fluctuates during the day depending on what you’re wearing, what you’re doing, and the temperature of your environment. Your child’s average body temperature is between 98.6℉ and 99.6℉. A reading of slightly above that temperature is not considered a fever.
Depending on the age of the child, most doctors diagnose a fever when your child’s temperature is above 100.4. Why does a child develop a fever? It usually means your child’s body is fighting some type of infection or bacteria, which is a good thing. Other reasons for fever include recent vaccinations, certain medications, or certain types of illnesses, such as cancer or an autoimmune disorder.
What you can do at home to bring down a fever
Fever in itself is not a bad thing and doesn’t necessarily have to be treated in any way. You should only take measures if the fever is accompanied by other issues, such as fussiness, pain, discomfort, vomiting, soreness, or an earache.
If your child is not showing any signs of distress, you can just let them rest in comfortable clothing and a light blanket. You don’t want to overdress them or pile on blankets that may increase their body temperature. Make sure their room is at a comfortable temperature.
If your child is distressed and having trouble sleeping or relaxing, you can try children’s acetaminophen for children over two months old or ibuprofen for children over six months old. Other ways to soothe a child with fever include warm baths and drinking extra fluids.
When you should call a doctor
In most cases, you won’t need a doctor’s advice or intervention. But if your child is under three months old with a fever above 100.4, you should take them to see your doctor or to an urgent care clinic immediately, if your doctor is not available.
Between 3 and 12 months old, you should be concerned and seek a medical evaluation if your child’s fever surpasses 102.2. A temperature this high may indicate an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.
Even if your child’s temperature does not reach above 102.2, you should still call your doctor if the fever has not subsided within a couple of days or it’s accompanied by other issues, such as an earache, sore throat, constant vomiting, or dehydration.
If you live around Covington, Georgia, and your infant or child has a concerning fever, call us at Covington Pediatrics LLC .