When Your Child's Fever Is Cause for Concern

No parent wants their child to feel sick or uncomfortable. Fever in itself is not an illness but a sign that your child’s body is fighting an illness. Usually, it’s nothing to worry about. However, as the fever rises, your child will most likely feel worse. 

Everyone’s temperature fluctuates during the day. A fever is considered 100.4°F or above. Often, the fever will go away on its own within a day or two. If it doesn’t, here’s what you should know about how to make your child feel better when they’re sick, and when you should be concerned.

How to make your child feel better

A parent usually knows when their child is sick without taking their temperature. A sick child has less energy and a weaker appetite than a healthy child. Often, they’re fussy, tired, thirsty, and may complain of a sore throat or stomachache. Other signs that your child may be sick include a rash or complaints of feeling warm or achy. 

Treating a fever won’t make the illness go away faster, but it will help your child feel more comfortable while their body fights their sickness. Some ways to make your child feel better include:

Give them a pain reliever

Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) can help your child feel better and better sleep. Don’t give your child aspirin because it has been linked to a serious, potentially fatal disease called Reye syndrome.

Dress them comfortably

Make sure your child has their favorite blanket and stuffed animal. Let them wear loose-fitting pajamas or clothes all day. If they’re feeling hot, make sure they’re dressed in lightweight clothing. 

Give them fluids

Make sure your child gets plenty of fluids by drinking water/juice or eating popsicles unless they have a stomach bug. 

Make sure they rest

Let your child sleep or nap as often as they like throughout the day. If they’re not feeling well, it’s ok to throw your digital device limits out the window if playing games or watching movies gets them to rest. 

When to call your doctor

As we stated earlier, most fevers are not a cause of concern and go away on their own within a day or two. However, there are times when you should be concerned. Call your doctor right away if your child is three months old or younger and has a fever of 100.4°F. 

Other reasons to call your doctor immediately are if your child’s temperature is accompanied by trouble breathing, severe pain, extreme tiredness, or has a dark, flat rash that does not change color when you press on it.

You should also call your doctor if:

These are all reasons that you should be concerned and call your doctor. However, if your child does not meet any of these criteria, you should always call your doctor if you’re worried for any reason. 

If you’re concerned about your child’s health or temperature, call Liberty Pediatrics for advice or to make a same-day sick visit

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