Fever, Child

A fever is a higher than normal body temperature. A fever is a temperature of 100.4° F (38° C) or higher taken either by mouth or in the opening of the butt (rectally). If your child is younger than 4 years, the best way to take your child's temperature is in the butt. If your child is older than 4 years, the best way to take your child's temperature is in the mouth. If your child is younger than 3 months and has a fever, there may be a serious problem.

HOME CARE

  • Give fever medicine as told by your child's doctor. Do not give aspirin to children.

  • If antibiotic medicine is given, give it to your child as told. Have your child finish the medicine even if he or she starts to feel better.

  • Have your child rest as needed.

  • Your child should drink enough fluids to keep his or her pee (urine) clear or pale yellow.

  • Sponge or bathe your child with room temperature water. Do not use ice water or alcohol sponge baths.

  • Do not cover your child in too many blankets or heavy clothes.

GET HELP RIGHT AWAY IF:

  • Your child who is younger than 3 months has a fever.

  • Your child who is older than 3 months has a fever or problems (symptoms) that last for more than 2 to 3 days.

  • Your child who is older than 3 months has a fever and problems quickly get worse.

  • Your child becomes limp or floppy.

  • Your child has a rash, stiff neck, or bad headache.

  • Your child has bad belly (abdominal) pain.

  • Your child cannot stop throwing up (vomiting) or having watery poop (diarrhea).

  • Your child has a dry mouth, is hardly peeing, or is pale.

  • Your child has a bad cough with thick mucus or has shortness of breath.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your child's condition.

  • Will get help right away if your child is not doing well or gets worse.