What is a fever?
A fever is a raised body temperature.
What causes fever?
When an infection or inflammation is present in the body, frequently the body will respond with a raised body temperature.  It can also be caused by increased activity, the environment being too warm, or the child is too bundled.
How do I take a temperature?
It is taken rectally, orally, or under the arm (axillary.)
What is a normal body temperature?
·         Rectal       99.6 F              37.6 C
·         Oral          98.6 F             37.0 C
·         Axillary    97.6 F              36.5 C
When does my child have a temperature?
When the reading is 1 degree higher than normal.
When should I notify my child’s doctor?
Notify your child’s doctor immediately if your child is under 2 months of age and had any temperature elevation (100.4 C degrees F/38 degrees or higher).
For children 3 months to 2 years of age, be cautious and discuss with your physician when notification should occur (usually for a fever of 102 degrees F/ 38.9 degrees C or more).
For older infants and children, call your physician for persistent fevers lasting longer than two days, a temperature 3 degrees above normal, or if your child is cranky, difficult to sooth, or difficult to arouse.
Remember to discuss all of these rules with your physician since individual recommendations do vary.
What can I do when my child has a fever?
Give your child acetaminophen (non-aspirin).  Body temperature sponge baths (do not use alcohol) can be used to promote cooling evaporation.  Give cool liquids and place your child in lightweight clothing while keeping the room cool, but keep your child warm enough to prevent shivering.
Does a fever harm my child?
Fevers almost never cause brain injury.  The problems that may accompany fevers (like meningitis) are what cause injury.  Approximately 3-5% of all children will have seizures with fever.  Call your physician if a seizure occurs.
What dose of acetaminophen (“Tylenol”) do I use?
The package insert will provide the dose for age. For younger children talk to your doctor at your health maintenance visits.