Fever In Children, When To Go To Urgent Care Clinic
Fever is a common symptom associated with illness, particularly in children. Although a fever is the body’s natural response to fighting off viral and bacterial infections, it commonly causes concern to parents and many questions in regard to what to do.
Fever in Infants and Children
What is a normal temperature?
A normal temperature is about 98.6°F (37°C) when taken orally (in your child’s mouth) and 99.6°F (37.5°C) when taken rectally (in your child’s bottom). Many medical professionals define a fever as an oral temperature above 99.5°F (37.5°C) or a rectal temperature above 100.4°F (38°C).
How should I take my child’s temperature?
The most accurate measurement of temperature is rectally, but in a child older than 3 months of age it is acceptable to take it orally or within the ear (unless your doctor directs otherwise). Regarding thermometer selection, digital thermometers work well and accurately.
Can I give my child aspirin to lower his or her fever?
No. In rare cases, aspirin can cause Reye’s syndrome in children. Reye’s syndrome is a serious illness that can cause a variety of symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, mental status changes, fatigue, and in severe cases can lead to possible death. It is recommended that parents should not give aspirin to children younger than 18 years of age.
What else can I do to help my child feel better?
- May administer Tylenol (or Ibuprofen over the age of 1 year) for fever symptoms. Dose as appropriate for your child’s age and weight.
- Give your child plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Water, broth soups, popsicles and flavored gelatin are good choices as well to help with hydration.
- Make sure your child gets plenty of rest.
- Keep the room temperature within a normal range. Although your child may feel cold or warm depending on temperature fluctuations, avoid trying to compensate the room temperature in response to this.
- Dress your child in light cotton pajamas. Overdressing can trap body heat and cause your child’s temperature to rise.
When To Go To Urgent Care Clinic?
Although many minor illnesses and fevers may come and go with conservative treatments such as rest and fluids, there are some instances that your child may need to follow up with a medical provider.
- Call your child’s doctor if your child…
- is under 3 months old and has a fever over 100F. These little ones are particularly vulnerable to side effects and dehydration with fever symptoms. It is important to check with his or her doctor as they may want to see your child for a visit.
- between 3 and 6 months with a fever of 101F.
- Seek emergency care if your child…
- a fever over 105F.
- experienced a seizure associated with fever symptoms
- has a fever along with a stiff neck, headache, severe pain, shortness of breath, severe lethargy, difficulty swallowing, compromised immunity, and other severe symptoms.
Remember: When in doubt, call your child’s doctor/medical provider or bring your child to a medical clinic to be further evaluated.
Urgent Care Network of Omaha Clinics in Omaha and Bellevue, NE
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