Fever

For infants less than 1 year, the temperature must be taken rectally. Ear and forehead thermometers are never accurate. If the fever is greater than 100.5 rectally and persistant in an infant less than 2 months, please call the office to discuss with a physician or nurse.

Fever is your child's friend. Fever is defined as a temperature of 101 degrees or greater for infants and children over 2 months. Fever is not an illness, but a sign that your child is sick. It is the body's mechanism against infection. There is no specific degree of fever that will harm your child. The higher the temperature, the more miserable the child feels, the faster the heart beats and the faster the breathing rate will become. Fever associated with sun or heat stroke is an exception to the rule.

It is important to take an accurate temperature with an appropriate thermometer. Knowing the accurate temperature will assist the physician in making an accurate diagnosis of the problem. If you are uncomfortable with taking the child's temperature, please call the nurses at the office during business hours for assistance. Thermoscans/Ear scans and forehead or temporal artery thermometers are not an accurate measurement of temperature in children under 12 months of age.

When taking the temperature under the arm, remember to add a degree. Rectal and oral temperatures are accurate and a degree does not need to be added.

Fever can be controlled in several ways:

  1. Frequent lukewarm tub baths with sponging down for 5-10 minutes with care not to allow the child to chill when taken out.
  2. Acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tempra, Feverall suppositories) every 4 to 6 hours for temperatures greater than 101.
  Tylenol drops Children's Tylenol Tylenol Chewables
Over 2 months (80mg/0.8mL) (160mg/tsp) 80mg/tablet
6-11 pounds 0.4mL 1/4 teaspoon N/A
12-17 pounds 0.8 mL 1/2 teaspoon 1 tab
18-21 pounds 1.2 mL 3/4 teaspoon 1 1/2 tab
22-25 pounds 1.6 mL

1 teaspoon                  

2 tabs

26-30 pounds                                       1 1/4 teaspoon 

3. Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) by mouth every 6 to 8 hours for temperature of 101 or greater.

  Infant ibuprofen Children's Ibuprofen
  (100mg/2.5mL) (100mg/tsp)
Over 2 months  

 

13-16 pounds 1.25 mL 1/2 teaspoon
17-21 pounds 1.875 ml 3/4 teaspoon
22-25 pounds 2.5 mL

1 teaspoon

26-30 pounds                                        1 and 1/4 teaspoon

Start with one oral fever reducer and dose accordingly. If comfort is not sufficiently achieved with one medicine, then alternate acetaminophen two to four hours apart from ibuprofen. Fever reducers are only effective at reducing temperature by 2 to 2 1/2 degrees. Again, remember that fever is simply a sign that your child is ill and in no way will hurt your child.

We recommend that any child with fever for more than 24-36 hours be evaluated.

Seizures with fever tend to occur only with rapid rises in temperature. If you have taken your child's temperature and it is already elevated then your child will not likely have a febrile seizure at that time. Febrile seizures tend to run in families and typically occur between the ages of 6 months and 6 years. We recommend that any child with a seizure be evaluated immediately to rule out other causes of seizure activity.

Aspirin or aspirin-containing products should never be given to children.