When to Call the Office | Pediatrics at Newton-Wellesley

When to call your pediatrician if your child has a fever. The following are guidelines only. Your child’s general appearance and the way he or she is acting are usually more important indicators of illness than the height of their fever. You should always call if your child looks or acts significantly ill for any period of time or if you are concerned about worsening health

  • your child looks or acts very ill for any period of time
  • your child is less than three months old and has a temperature greater than 100.4 rectally
  • your child is over three months and has a fever of 102
  • your child is over three years of age and does not look well, and does not perk up significantly after an appropriate dose of fever medicine
  • your child is crying inconsolably
  • your child cries if you try to touch or move them
  • your child if difficult to awaken
  • your child complains of stiff neck and cannot touch the chin to the chest without pain
  • purple spots begin on the skin and do not blanch (whiten) when pressed firmly
  • breathing is labored and no better after nasal passages are cleared
  • your child is unable to swallow anything and is drooling saliva
  • your baby’s soft spot (fontanelle) is bulging or sunken
  • your child walks with a limp or refuses to move a leg joint
  • your child has a compromised immune system
  • your child suffers from a burning sensation or pain during urination
  • your child complains of ear pain
  • your child complains of sore throat for 24 hours and any of the following: headache, swollen glands, abdominal pain, rash or joint pain
  • your child’s fever lasts 48 hrs without obvious cause of infection
  • your child’s fever is greater than 101.5 for more than 72 hrs
  • the fever has been normal for 24 hrs then returned
  • your child has a history of seizures with fever and you wish to review fever management