As a parent, you always worry when your child has a fever. Is it simply a cold, or is it the flu or something more? You may go through the mental motion: Should I call the doctor or not? At UrgiKids in Naperville, Illinois, the team of physicians and nurses understand your concern and are ready to see your child any time your regular pediatrician is unavailable. If your child has a fever, call or book an appointment online.
There are all kinds of thermometers available, and different spots on the body can be used to check your child’s temperature, including the rectum, armpit, ear, forehead, or mouth. If you have an infant under four months old, doctors recommend using a rectal thermometer. In general, a rectal temperature is the most accurate. Typically, if the temperature is 100.4 F or higher, your child has a fever.
If you have an infant over four months old, one option is using a pacifier thermometer. For a baby older than six months, you can use an ear or forehead thermometer, but they may not be as accurate as a rectal thermometer. Many older children, as well as teens, do fine with a mouth thermometer.
Many parents worry about when to call the doctor when their child is feverish. You should call if your child is:
You should also call your pediatrician if your child has any of these symptoms with the fever:
If your pediatrician has already seen and treated your child, call if the fever lasts longer than three days or is not responsive to medication.
Call 911 when your child:
If your infant has never had any over-the-counter medicine previously, call your pediatrician’s office before giving any medication. If your child is over four months old, giving children’s acetaminophen according to the instructions on the package is usually fine.
To help bring a fever down, you can give your child a sponge bath using lukewarm water -- not cold water. Never use rubbing alcohol or an ice bath. If you’ve given medication and a sponge bath, and a high fever still doesn’t come down or gets higher, call your pediatrician or bring your child to UrgiKids.