Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Fever, elevation of body temperature above normal range,  Fever is not an illness, but a part of the body defense mechanism fighting for the person.  Untreated fevers from infection seldom go over 105º F unless the child is overdressed or in a very hot place.  Brain damage does not occur unless the fever is over 107.6º F and the brain's internal thermostat keeps untreated fevers below this level. Very rarely, high fever can cause convulsions in small children. 

Potential reasons for fever are infection, overdressing, immunizations, and other causes.  Viral infections are the most common cause of fever in children of all ages.  If a child of any age has ear pain, pain with urinations, or a productive cough, he/she should be seen by a physician.

Children and teens typically have fever if their temperature is above the following levels:
  • Oral (mouth) temperature  99.5º F
  • Axillary (under the arm) temperature  99º F
  • Rectal (bottom) temperature  100.4º F
If a fever is suspected, kiss or feel the forehead, which will be warm.  Call a doctor about  need for a visit if:
·         An infant 3 months old or younger has a rectal temperature of 100.4º F
·         A child between 3 months and 3 years old has a rectal temperature of 102.2º F or higher.

Treat all fevers with extra fluids, but do not force a child to drink.  Popsicles and iced drinks are helpful.  Minimize clothing and bed covers.  Acetaminophen and ibuprofen both reduce fever.  Consult a physician about which to give if the child is 2 years old or younger.  Do not give aspirin.