WHEN TO CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF YOUR CHILD HAS A FEVER
Note: the following are guidelines only. Your child’s general appearance and the way he/she is acting are more important indicators of illness than the height of the fever. You should always call if your child looks or acts significantly ill for any period of time.
CALL IMMEDIATELY IF:
- Your child looks or acts very sick for any period of time.
- Your child is less than 3 months old with a temperature greater than 100.5 degrees (rectal).
- Your child is 3-6 months old and the fever is 102 degrees or greater.
- Your child is less than 3 years old and the fever is over 105 degrees.
- Your child is less than 3 years and the fever is over 105 degrees AND the temperature has not dropped within 45 minutes of administration of acetaminophen or ibuprophen, or after sponging.
- Your child is crying inconsolably.
- Your child is difficult to awaken.
- Your child complains of a stiff neck, and cannot put his/her chin to his/her chest without pain.
- Purple spots are present on the skin and these to don blanch (whiten when touched)
- Breathing is difficult and no better after the nose is cleared.
- Your child is unable to swallow anything and drooling saliva.
- Your baby’s soft spot is bulging when he/she is sitting up quietly.
- Your child complains of back pain with fever.
- There is redness or swelling of the eye, or pain with movement of the eye.
- There is tenderness, swelling or redness over and arm or leg.
- Your child walks with a limp or refuses to move a joint.
- Your child’s immune system is compromised (i.e. their spleen has been removed, they are undergoing chemotherapy or are HIV positive).
- You have any other concerns, which make you feel an immediate call is necessary.
CALL THE NEXT MORNING IF:
- Your child is older than 3 years with a fever of over 105 degrees which responds to acetaminophen or ibuprophen (i.e. the temperature drops after administration, but otherwise persists).
- Your child suffers from burning or pain during urination.
- Your child complains of ear pain (note: if the ear appears swollen, you should call the office immediately).
- Your child complains of a sore throat and any of the following: swollen glands, headache, abdominal pain, rash or joint pain.
- Your child has dark urine occurring up to 3-4 weeks after a sore throat.
- Your child’s fever lasts more than 48 hours without any obvious cause or infection.
CALL DURING REGULAR HOURS IF:
- Your child’s fever is over 101 degrees for more than 72 hours.
- Your child’s fever abated for 24 hours, then returned.
- Your child has a history of febrile seizures, and you wish to review the management of fevers.
- You have other concerns or questions.