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Health Issues

When to call the doctor

The most important things you can do when your child has a fever are to improve your child’s comfort by making sure they drink enough fluids to stay hydrated and monitor for signs and symptoms of a serious illness. It is a good sign if your child plays and interacts with you after receiving medicine for discomfort.

Call your child’s doctor right away if your child has a fever and

  • Looks very ill, is unusually drowsy, or is very fussy
  • Has been in a very hot place, such as an overheated car
  • Has other symptoms, such as a stiff neck, severe headache, severe sore throat, severe ear pain, an unexplained rash, or repeated vomiting or diarrhea
  • Has immune system problems, such as sickle cell disease or cancer, or is taking steroids
  • Has had a seizure
  • Is younger than 3 months (12 weeks) and has a temperature of 100.4°F (38.0°C) or higher
  • Fever rises above 104°F (40°C) repeatedly for a child of any age

Also call your child’s doctor if

  • Your child still “acts sick” once his fever is brought down.
  • Your child seems to be getting worse.
  • The fever persists for more than 24 hours in a child younger than 2 years.
  • The fever persists for more than 3 days (72 hours) in a child 2 years of age or older.

 

Last Updated
7/31/2013
Source
Fever and Your Child (Copyright © 2007 American Academy of Pediatrics, updated 5/2012)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.