When your child has a fever, you may be worried. A fever is the body’s natural response to illness.
A low grade fever—any fever less than 101 degrees–can be allowed to continue without treatment, as it is a sign that the body’s natural illness fighting system is working as it should.
However, fevers in very younger children, and high fevers must receive prompt attention.
Here are some general guidelines for treating your child’s fever. Remember, these are just guidelines; you should always follow your pediatrician’s instructions.
- If your baby is 6 weeks older or younger, any fever can be serious and should be considered an emergency. Call your pediatrician immediately, and do not administer medication unless directed specifically to do so. [Baby Health]
- If your baby is between the ages of 6 weeks and 3 months, and has a fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or more, you need to talk with your doctor within the next 2 hours. Your doctor may recommend waiting until morning, or suggest other immediate treatment.
- Any time if your child of any age, has a fever of 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, call your doctor. Your doctor may want to see your child right away, or may want to see how your child responds to over-the-counter treatment.
- Any time your child has a fever and is crying inconsolably, call your doctor immediately.
- Any time your child has a fever and is unresponsive, lifeless, or does not make eye contact, call your doctor immediately.
- Any time if your child has a fever and pain or stiffness in his neck, a headache or photosensitivity, call your doctor immediately.
- Any time your intuition tells you that your child’s condition is serious, call your doctor immediately. You know your child best and call usually when something is wrong. [Child Health Care]
Over-the-counter products for treating fever in children are usually acetaminophen or ibuprofen. NEVER give aspirin to a child under the age of 12.
When you are purchasing a fever reducer, make sure you choose the right product based on your child’s age (for example, concentrated infant drops, children’s liquids, or junior chewables).
Always use the measuring device included with the product. Read the dosing instructions carefully and always follow instructions regarding amounts and frequency.
It is crucial that you do not give excessive medication to your child. When you can, choose the dose based on your child’s weight rather than age.