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What to do About a Child's Fever

What to do About a Child's Fever

If you’re a parent, you know how stressful it can be when your child is sick. And a fever can cause more anxiety, since a rise in temperature is a signal that there’s something wrong. 

The good news is that most of the time, a fever doesn’t mean your child has a serious health condition. There are times, however, when it’s a good idea to check in with a medical provider. 

At Wasatch Peak Family Practice and Oceans Contours, our board-certified providers offer specialized pediatric care to families in the Layton, Utah, area. Our team understands how concerning a child’s fever can be to parents.

To help you feel more at ease and in control when your child is sick, we’ve put our heads together and created this informative guide about what to do when your child has a fever.  

Childhood fevers and when to get medical help

The natural human temperature is usually about 98.6°F. It’s normal for body temperature to fluctuate throughout the day, so if you notice small changes there’s no reason for concern.

When your child has an infection, illness, or another issue, the part of the brain that regulates temperature may temporarily increase it to help fight away the sickness. In this case, they may develop a fever, which is defined as a temperature above 100.4°F. 

Rules of thumb for seeking medical help

Generally speaking, most of the time if your child has a temperature that’s under 102°F, it’s not cause for concern, and you can keep them comfortable with at-home treatments and remedies. 

There are times, however, when you should seek medical help. Typically physicians consider both your child’s symptoms as well as their temperature when deciding whether the child needs to be seen. Here’s a quick guide for when to call your doctor or go to the emergency room:

In addition to a high temperature, there are other times when you should seek medical advice. Call your Wasatch Peak Family Practice and Oceans Contours provider if your child has a temperature of any degree and:

When in doubt, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and call your provider. We’re here to help your child feel their best.  

Handling childhood fevers at home

Sometimes children with fevers may not exhibit signs of feeling sick. However, a fever means they can probably still infect others and should stay home. 

When your child isn’t bothered by their fever, you don’t need to give them any medications unless their temperature exceeds 102°F. Keep an eye on their temperature and their behavior to note any changes. 

If your child is acting tired or lethargic, not drinking enough fluids, or in pain, you can give them over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to alleviate their symptoms. Follow the instructions on the package for dosages, and never give aspirin to a child unless your doctor tells you otherwise. 

Other ways you can help your feverish child is by making sure they’re not overdressed or covered with too many blankets or comforters, giving them a cool compress, keeping the temperature of the environment comfortable, and making sure your child stays hydrated. 

Want to learn more about what to do when your child has a fever? Contact the experts at Wasatch Peak Family Practice and Oceans Contours in Layton, Utah. You can schedule an appointment by calling our office at 801-210-9984 or messaging us.

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