Should Fever Be Treated?

There are pros and cons of treating infant fever. Fever may play a role in fighting infection, although it can make a child uncomfortable and occasionally it can cause convulsions.

The magnitude of a child’s fever is not always the best indicator of whether the child needs to be treated and/or evaluated. Instead, it is important to note how a child behaves and appears. Fever is usually accompanied by other symptoms.

Treatment of baby fever is recommended if a child has an underlying medical problem, including diseases of the heart, lung, brain, or nervous system, or if the child has had febrile seizures in the past and if the child with no other medical problems appears to be restless and uncomfortable.

In most cases, a child with a fever can be observed and/or treated at home. However, it is important for parents to know when a child needs to be evaluated by a healthcare provider and when it is reasonable to observe the child without treating the fever.

A healthcare provider should be consulted in the following situations:

  • Infants who are less than three months of age who have a temperature of 100.4ºF (38ºC) or greater, regardless of how the infant appears.
  • Children who are older than three months who have a temperature of 100.4ºF  (38ºC) or greater for more than three days or who appear ill, fussy, clingy, refusing to drink fluids.
  • Children between 3 to 36 months who have a temperature of 102ºF (38.9ºC) or greater
  • Children of any age whose temperature is 104ºF (40ºC) or greater
  • Children of any age who have a febrile seizure. Febrile seizures are convulsions that occur when a child (between six months and six years of age) has a temperature greater than 100.4º F (38º C).
  • Children of any age who have recurrent fevers, even if the fever only last a few hours.
  • Children of any age who have a fever and have a chronic medical problem such as heart disease, cancer, lupus, or sickle cell anemia.
  • Children who have a fever as well as a new skin rash.

FEVER RUB™ is effective in reducing fever in children.

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