Your Child's Fever

Does Your Child Have a Fever?

What is Fever?

A fever is not an illness unto itself. It is a symptom of sickness and can be a positive sign that thebody is fighting infection. However, a fever can make your child uncomfortable.*

Your Child has a Fever if:
  • Their temperature reaches 99.5 when measured orally or in the ear.
  • Their temperature reaches 100.4°F when measured rectally.
  • Their temperature reaches 99°F when measured under the arm.
When Should you Call a Doctor?

Unfortunately, there is no universally accepted answer; however you should always call
the doctor if you are concerned about the health of your child. In particular, you should be sure to call a doctor if:

  • Your child is experiencing discomfort.L
  • Your child is vomiting.
  • Your child is not drinking.
  • Your child is not sleeping well.
  • Your child has a fever over 104°F (40°C) that has not improved 2 hours after taking fever medicine.
  • Your child has a very bad headache.
  • Your child experiences constant diarrhea.

Remember, a fever is the body’s way of responding to an infection and can make your child uncomfortable and irritable. But your child may be healthier than you think.

Here are some positive signs your child may not be as sick as you think. He or she:

  • Is still interested in playing.
  • Is eating and drinking well.
  • Is alert and smiling at you.
  • Has a normal skin color.
  • Looks well when his/her temperature comes down.

*American Academy of Pediatrics