Fevers

Fevers

A fever is often a very concerning symptom for a parent. They have fears of seizures, or brain damage due to the fever. Hopefully we can relieve some of a parent’s fear with some simple information.
1. A fever is the body’s response to inflammation. The inflammation can be caused by a bacterial infection, a viral infection, severe allergies, rheumatologic disease, or autoimmune disease. When the appropriate cause of the inflammation is identified and treated, the fever usually resolves.
2. The height of the fever does not correlate with the severity of the infection. A child can have a very mild fever with a severe infection or they can have a high fever with a very mild infection.
3. What do we consider a fever?
a. Normal body temperature is 97 F-100 F-no matter how the temperature was taken.
b. In children < 3 months of age we tend to be very conservative. If your child is < 3 months and has a fever > 100.5 F, you need to call the office. Based on other symptoms the child is having we will determine the best course of action.
c. In children > 3 months of age, we consider a fever > 101 F. We would recommend trying to control the fever with some of the suggestions below and have parents call the office if the fever is not responding to the methods recommended.
4. Treatments for fever.
a. Tylenol (Acetaminophen): For children >3 months of age use the dose chart below. For children < 3 month call the office before anything is given. b. Motrin/Advil (Ibuprofen): ONLY for children over 6 months of age. c. Sponge Bath: If a child has a significant fever, a sponge bath can help reduce the temperature. a. Temperature of the water should be luke warm (between 85-95 F) b. NEVER USE ALCOHOL! This causes blood vessels to constrict and the internal temperature will continue to rise. Tylenol and Motrin/Advil are two different medications and thus work through two different chemical pathways. At times they can be given together. Please call to discuss this with a nurse or physician before you would give them together.