By Lockman & Lubell Pediatric Associates
January 19, 2015
Tags: Child Care   Fever  

 

Although fevers, particularly in infants, are often very frightening for parents, we pediatricians know that most of the time a fever is not a sign of a serious problem nor is it going to injure or damage the child.  Fevers are usually triggered by an infection caused by a viral  or bacterial germ. In fact a fever is the body’s normal  response to infection and in many cases is considered a good sign that the child’s body is trying to heal itself. Furthermore, contrary to popular opinion, the height of the fever does not correlate with the seriousness of the infection. 

All children react differently to fevers, but there are some common patterns seen during a febrile ( fever causing)  illness. For example, typically when a fever is rising the child is pale, feels cold, and has shaking chills, and when a fever is breaking the child will then  appear to be flushed, warm, and sweaty. It is also interesting to note that for each degree of temperature elevation (Fahrenheit) that  your child's metabolism will speed up about 7 %-which means that their heart rate and breathing rate too also speed up by about 7 %. 

When to Visit Your Pediatrician

Fevers are one of the most common reasons parents seek medical care for their child.  

So it seems fair to address the question: When does a child’s fever warrant a pediatric healthcare provider's attention?

At Lockman & Lubell Pediatric Associates we would like you to call us immediately- day or night-if your child has a fever and:

  • Is younger than 3 months and has a temperature of 100.4°F or higher rectally. 
  • Has a fever which persists for more than 24 hours if your child is younger than 2 years or more than 3 days if your  child is 2 years of age and older
  • Has a fever which repeatedly rises above 104°F for a child of any age
  • Is lethargic, unresponsive or unusually fussy
  • Has a seizure
  • Has a severe headache, ear pain, sore throat, difficulty breathing or frequent bouts of vomiting or diarrhea, or an unexplained rash,
  • Still feels or looks particularly ill after fever goes away

If your child appears uncomfortable, you can help them feel better by using a fever-reducing medication like acetaminohen or ibuprofen until the fever subsides. Please consult the dosing chart included in our website or ask your pediatrician if you have questions about recommended dosages.  Your child should also rest and drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Remember , their metabolic needs are increased during fever. Most children do well if they consume a minimum of 16-24 ounces per day. Popsicles are a great option for maintaining a normal state of hydration which most kids enjoy!  Pedialyte is another wonderful option for younger children because it is a balanced solution of water, salt and sugar in all the right proportions. It is availabel in several forms and flavors. These are just two of the 'tried and true' fluids we often recommend, but there are many others that also work well to keep your child hydrated. Remember, "any port in a storm" when it comes to hydration.

Giving medicine and plenty of fluids, combined with a little TLC and a watchful eye, your child should be feeling normal and fever-free in no time.

Whenever you have a question or concern about your child’s health and well being, please contact your team at Lockman & Lubell Pediatric Assocites. for further instruction.

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