Is It a Fever?
Normal body temperature: 97.5° - 98.9°F
For adults, kids and even infants, a fever is defined as any temp over 100.4°F orally and 101.4°F using a rectal or temporal artery thermometer. Here’s a general guideline to tell if your son or daughter has a fever:
Younger than 3 months
Any fever ( >100.4°F)
3 to 6 months
6 to 24 months
> 102°F lasting more than 1 day
2 to 17 years
> 102°F AND one ore more of these factors:
- Seems unusually irritable, lethargic and uncomfortable OR
- Lasts longer than 3 days OR
- Doesn’t respond to medication
What Will the ER Team Want to Know About Your Child's Fever?
At the ER, your medical team will want to get some information about your child's fever:
- How long has your child had the fever?
- Has it stayed high? How high did it get?
- Does your child have any pain anywhere, such as a headache?
- Has your child had any other symptoms such as vomiting, fatigue, stiff neck or a rash?
- Any recent surgery or cuts/injuries?
- Has your child been around anyone who is sick or has similar symptoms?
- Has your child been around pets or other animals?
- Has your child had any recent dental work or a teeth cleaning?
- Is your child taking any prescription drugs?
- Have your given your child anything for the fever? When and what was the amount?
- What immunizations has the child had and when?
- Have you taken the child’s temperature at home? If so, when and how?
- Has your child's activity level changed—sleeping, eating, playing?
How to Quickly Lower a High Fever Safely
- Fluids. Drink plenty of water, tea and sports drinks. For children, use water, popsicles or oral rehydrating solutions. For infants, nurse them more often or give them bottles more often.
- Lukewarm bath. Bathe in a lukewarm bath or shower. Don’t use ice, cold water or alcohol. If shivering starts, warm up the water.
- Wear light clothing. Light, loose clothing keeps the body cooler.