Fever is any temperature greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius. In infants the temperature should be measured rectally in older children it is okay to use an oral or axillary (under the arm) temperature. temporal artery scanners are good as well, but we do not recommend ear or forehead strips as they are often inaccurate.
Fever is your child’s body using its natural response to fighting an infection. There are no “magic numbers” with fevers, it is no worse to have 104 temperature than 101 temperature what matters is how your child behaves once the fever is breaking.
Fever in itself, while it may seem scary (especially with your child’s first fever) is not usually dangerous. However, fevers can make children feel uncomfortable and therefore there are medications available to decrease the body’s temperature. The dosing of both ibuprofen and acetaminophen are weight based and the appropriate dose for your child can be found here
. Ibuprofen can be given every 6 hours and acetaminophen every four hours.
There are times when the fever may return prior to the allotted time. In these cases it is okay to alternate using the acetaminophen and ibuprofen. These medications work differently and there is no specific amount of time needed between giving the two. For example: if your child has a fever at 6am and you give the appropriate dose of ibuprofen you may not give a second dose until 12pm. However, if your child’s fever returns at 10am you may give the appropriate dose of acetaminophen. The key is to have 4 hours between each dose of acetaminophen and 6 hours between each dose of ibuprofen. you may also put your child in a tepid bath to help bring down the temperature. Do not put your child in cold water or ice.
When to call MD/seek further medical attention
if your child is < 2 months old and has a rectal temperature greater than 100.4 degrees please call the office immediately
if your child has had persistent fevers >3-4 days in a row please call the office to schedule an appointment
If your child is very irritable despite the fever having gone down
If your child is extremely sleepy and you are having difficulty arousing him