When a Fever Requires Medical Attention
What is considered a fever?
A healthy body temperature is 98.6 F; however, many things can elevate a person’s temperature including intense exercise, so not all temperature fluctuations mean that your child is sick; however, an illness or infection can certainly shift your body’s temperature as it works to fight off the bacteria or virus.
What can cause a fever?
There are quite a few reasons why your child might be dealing with a fever. Some common causes include:
- Viral infections (e.g. cold; flu)
- Bacterial infections
- Severe sunburns
- Heat exhaustion or heat stroke
- Inflammatory health problems
- Side effects of certain medications
A fever that develops in an infant (babies under 3 months old) is often a far more serious matter than fevers in children. If your infant develops a fever of 100.4 F or over, it’s highly recommended that you bring them to your pediatrician right away for care.
When to seek medical attention for your child’s fever?
By the age of 3 years old, most children will have developed at least one fever. While some fevers won’t be anything to worry about and will go away on their own, it is important to know when your child’s fever requires medical attention. You should call your pediatrician if:
- Your child’s fever persists for more than 5 days
- The fever is over 104 F
- Your child has symptoms of dehydrated
- Medications aren’t helping to reduce their fever