When Do You Take a Child to the Doctor for a High Fever?

Young children get sick more frequently than adults because their immune systems aren’t developed. Having an immature immune system means they are prone to viral infections, which can cause fevers. Naturally, parents will worry when fevers hit high temperature. But did you know that you don’t have to take your child to the doctor every time they have a fever? 

What is Considered a Fever?

The average body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Consider a fever anything over 100.4. But parents, know that most fevers will go away on their own. The fever is the body’s natural response to an illness, usually to a viral infection. The key to deciding whether or not to take your young child to the doctor for a fever is to monitor their symptoms. Instead of focusing on your child’s temperature, see how they’re acting. Is the fever bothering your child? Is your child achy or moaning? If not, they’ll probably be okay and you may not even have to treat it. Many children get fevers reaching 104 degrees and are fine.

But if a child acts abnormally or looks very uncomfortable, you can start by giving them acetaminophen to treat the symptoms, like aches and headaches. If a child’s symptoms worsen, if they have seizures with a fever, or if they have hyperpyrexia symptoms, take them to the emergency room. 

If You Have a Baby With a Fever, Call the Doctor

For babies under 3 months, you should always call your doctor for any fever that reaches 100.4 degrees or above. Babies have highly immature immune systems, so a fever may indicate a more serious infection, such as bacterial meningitis or pneumonia.

If you have a baby that is older than 3 months, call the doctor if they have a high temperature along with vomiting. You also want to get a doctor’s advice if the baby has a fever that lasts for more than three days.

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