Childr Health Information


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Topic: Infant Health Care, General Child Health

This handout was written to answer some of the questions most often asked about fever and how to treat it at home.  Feel free to ask your nurse practitioner or doctor to go over any information you do not understand.
Fever in an infant under three months can indicate a very serious problem and your doctor should be called immediately or the child should be taken to the emergency department.


A very high fever in a baby more than three months old does not always mean your child has a serious infection.  Children may have temperatures as high as 105°F without being seriously ill.  High fevers may not be dangerous, but may make children uncomfortable. For that reason, treatment is recommended.

HOW WILL I TREAT MY CHILD’S FEVER? (Three Months or Older)
The following guidelines will help you decide when treatment is necessary:

1. Take the child’s temperature.

 Normal Temperature  Oral - 98.6°F  Rectal - 99.6°F
 Centigrade                 Oral - 37.0°C  Rectal - 37.6°C
                                              F                C
                                            98.6°   =  37.0°
                                          100.5°   =  38.0°
                                          102.0°   =  39.0°
                                          104.0°    = 40.0°

2. If the temperature is 101°F or above when taken by rectum, by mouth or when using an ear thermometer, or 100°F when taken under the arm, give acetaminophen every four hours as instructed by your doctor.  Do not give more than five doses in 24 hours.

Other names for acetaminophen products are:
                 Pandadol®    Tylenol®
                 Tempra®    Feverall™
We recommend a pharmacy approved dosing chart for Tylenol®.
 Do not give aspirin or aspirin containing products to children.

3. Take your child’s temperature at least every four hours.  You can take the temperature more often if you feel it is necessary.

4. Keep the room temperature at about 70°F. 

5. Dress your child in light, cotton pajamas so that body heat can escape.

6. A child who is ill and has had a fever should be encouraged to take clear liquids frequently.

7. A child should not be sponged with water or alcohol unless your doctor tells you to do this.  This will often cause the small blood vessels in the skin to close off and may cause the fever inside the body to go higher.

8. Give other medications according to your doctor’s orders.  Your doctor may recommend ibuprofen for fever and should be called for information on the dose and how often to give.  Other names for ibuprofen are: 

     Advil®                        Nuprin®             Genpril® 
     Ibuprin®                     Motrin®              Pediaprofen™

9. Call your doctor immediately if:
  a. Your child twitches or convulses.
  b. The fever stays high although you have given your child enough fluids and fever medication.
  c. If you cannot reach a doctor, take your child to the emergency department.

Remember, a doctor should be involved in your child’s treatment until your child is completely well.  Call your doctor for this care.  If you cannot reach your doctor, take your child to the emergency department.

PDF: Child Health Information - FEVER

Derechos de autor(c) de The Children's Medical Center, ano 1999. Este material unicamente tiene fines educativos. No puede ser reproducido, distribuido ni modificado sin previa autorizacion de The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, Ohio, 45404-1815. Llame al 937-641-3666 para solicitar autorizacion o para obtener un juego maestro para copias. Para obtener mas informacion puede visitar (consulte la seccion de informacion legal).

La informacion contenida en este material es unicamente informacion de tipo general. No debe considerarse como completa. Para obtener mas informacion acerca de los complementos para leche materna, por favor pidala a su doctor.
Corregido: 1994, 1998, 2000, 2004, 2006

The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about bathing your baby, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Additional information may be located in the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor, near the Outpatient Surgery Center. Hours of the center vary; please contact the Family Resource Center at 937-641-3700.

Copyright(c) The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from Dayton Children's.
Revised: 1994, 1998, 2000, 2004, 2006


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