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    Fever or Chills, Age 11 and Younger

    Fever or Chills, Age 11 and Younger

    Topic Overview

    Fever is the body's normal and healthy reaction to infection and other illnesses, both minor and serious. Fevers help the body fight infection. Fever is a symptom, not a disease. In most cases, fever means your child has a minor illness. Often you must look at your child's other symptoms to determine how serious the illness is. Although it may be scary when your child's temperature goes up, fever is not harmful.

    Normal body temperature

    The average normal body temperature is about 98.6F (37C). It usually rises during the day from a low of 97.4F (36.3C) in the morning to a high of 99.6F (37.6C) in the late afternoon. Each child has a normal temperature range that may be different from another child's. Mild increases to 100.4F (38C) can be caused by exercising, wearing too many clothes, taking a hot bath, or being outside in hot weather.

    Fever

    Temperature varies depending on how you take it. The most common ways to measure it are:

    • Under the tongue.
    • In the armpit.
    • In the rectum.
    • In the ear.

    You can also use:

    • Forehead thermometers.
    • Pacifier thermometers.

    Some methods may not be as reliable or accurate as others. For information about taking accurate temperatures, see the topic Body Temperature.

    If you think your child has a fever but you are not able to measure his or her temperature, it is important to look for other symptoms of illness.

    Children tend to run higher fevers than adults. The degree of fever may not indicate how serious your child's illness is. With a minor illness, such as a cold, a child may have a temperature of 104F (40C), while a very serious infection may not cause a fever or may cause only a mild fever. With many illnesses, a fever temperature can go up and down very quickly and often, so be sure to look for other symptoms along with the fever.

    Babies with a fever often have an infection caused by a virus, such as a cold or the flu. Infections caused by bacteria, such as a urinary infection or bacterial pneumonia, also can cause a fever. Babies younger than 3 months should be seen by a doctor anytime they have a fever because they can get extremely sick quickly.

    A fever in a healthy child is usually not dangerous, especially if the child does not have other symptoms and the fever goes away in 3 to 4 days. Most children who have a fever will be fussy and play less and may not eat as much as usual.

    High fevers may make your child uncomfortable, but they rarely cause serious problems. There is no medical evidence that fevers from infection cause brain damage. The body limits a fever caused by infection from rising above 106F (41.1C). But outside heat?such as from being in a car that is parked in the sun?can cause body temperature to rise above 107F (41.7C), and brain damage can occur.

    Childhood immunizations can reduce the risk for fever-related illnesses, such as Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) infection. Although no vaccine is 100% effective, most routine childhood immunizations are effective for 85% to 95% of the children who receive them. For more information, see the topic Immunizations.

    Causes of fever

    It is not unusual for a preschool-aged child to have 7 to 10 viral infections in a year. Each new viral infection may cause a fever. It may seem that a fever is ongoing, but if 48 hours pass between fevers, then the new fever is most likely from a new illness.

    Common causes of fever include:

    Teething does not cause a fever. If a baby is teething and has a fever, look for other symptoms that may need to be evaluated.

    A fever that increases quickly may lead to a fever seizure in some children. After a fever has reached a high temperature, the risk of a seizure is less. Fever seizures can be frightening to see, but they usually do not cause other problems, such as brain damage, intellectual disability , or learning problems. If your child has a high fever and a seizure, see the topic Fever Seizures.

    Low body temperature

    An abnormally low body temperature (hypothermia) can be serious, even life-threatening. Low body temperature may occur from cold exposure, shock , alcohol or drug use, or certain metabolic disorders, such as diabetes or hypothyroidism . A low body temperature may also be present with an infection, particularly in newborns, older adults, or people who are frail. An overwhelming infection, such as sepsis, may also cause an abnormally low body temperature.

    Check your child's symptoms to decide if and when your child should see a doctor.

    Check Your Symptoms

    Do you think your child may have a fever or chills?
    Yes
    Fever or chills
    No
    Fever or chills
    How old are you?
    Less than 3 months
    Less than 3 months
    3 months to 3 years
    3 months to 3 years
    4 to 6 years
    4 to 6 years
    7 to 11 years
    7 to 11 years
    12 years or older
    12 years or older
    Are you male or female?
    Male
    Male
    Female
    Female
    Has your child had a fever seizure?
    Fever seizures are uncontrolled muscle spasms that can happen when a child's body temperature goes up quickly.
    Yes
    Fever seizure
    No
    Fever seizure
    Has your child had surgery in the past 2 weeks?
    Yes
    Surgery within past 2 weeks
    No
    Surgery within past 2 weeks
    Does your child have symptoms of shock?
    Yes
    Signs of shock
    No
    Signs of shock
    Does your child have symptoms of heatstroke?
    Yes
    Heatstroke symptoms
    No
    Heatstroke symptoms
    Do you think your baby might be very sick?
    A sick baby probably will not be acting normally. For example, the baby may be much fussier than usual or not want to eat.
    Yes
    Baby might be very sick
    No
    Baby might be very sick
    How sick do you think your baby is?
    Extremely sick
    Baby is very sick (limp and not responsive)
    Sick
    Baby is sick (sleepier than usual, not eating or drinking like usual)
    Do you think your baby may be dehydrated?
    Yes
    May be dehydrated
    No
    May be dehydrated
    Are the symptoms severe, moderate, or mild?
    Severe
    Severe dehydration
    Moderate
    Moderate dehydration
    Mild
    Mild dehydration
    Do you think your child may be dehydrated?
    It can be harder to tell in a baby or young child than it is in an older child.
    Yes
    May be dehydrated
    No
    May be dehydrated
    Are the symptoms severe, moderate, or mild?
    Severe
    Severe dehydration
    Moderate
    Moderate dehydration
    Mild
    Mild dehydration
    Is your child having trouble drinking enough to replace the fluids he or she has lost?
    Little sips of fluid usually are not enough. The child needs to be able to take in and keep down plenty of fluids.
    Yes
    Unable to drink enough fluids
    No
    Able to drink enough fluids
    Is your baby having trouble breathing?
    Sometimes babies may have trouble breathing because of a stuffy nose. If your baby's nose is stuffy, clearing the nose with a rubber bulb may help.
    Yes
    Difficulty breathing
    No
    Difficulty breathing
    Would you describe the breathing problem as severe, moderate, or mild?
    Severe
    Severe difficulty breathing
    Moderate
    Moderate difficulty breathing
    Mild
    Mild difficulty breathing
    Is your child having trouble breathing (more than a stuffy nose)?
    Yes
    Difficulty breathing more than stuffy nose
    No
    Difficulty breathing more than stuffy nose
    Yes
    Drooling and unable to swallow
    No
    Drooling and unable to swallow
    Would you describe the breathing problem as severe, moderate, or mild?
    Severe
    Severe difficulty breathing
    Moderate
    Moderate difficulty breathing
    Mild
    Mild difficulty breathing
    Is your child's ability to breathe:
    Getting worse?
    Breathing problems are getting worse
    Staying about the same (not better or worse)?
    Breathing problems are unchanged
    Getting better?
    Breathing problems are getting better
    Does your child have symptoms of a serious illness?
    Yes
    Symptoms of serious illness
    No
    Symptoms of serious illness
    Did you take a rectal temperature?
    Taking a rectal temperature is the only way to be sure that a baby this age does not have a fever. If you don't know the rectal temperature, it's safest to assume the baby has a fever and needs to be seen by a doctor. Any problem that causes a fever at this age could be serious.
    Yes
    Rectal temperature taken
    No
    Rectal temperature taken
    Is it 100.4F (38C) or higher?
    Yes
    Temperature at least 100.4F (38C)
    No
    Temperature at least 100.4F (38C)
    Have tiny red or purple spots or bruises appeared suddenly?
    Yes
    Sudden appearance of red or purple spots or bruising
    No
    Sudden appearance of red or purple spots or bruising
    Does your child seem to be in pain?
    Yes
    Appears to be in pain
    No
    Appears to be in pain
    How bad is the pain on a scale of 0 to 10, if 0 is no pain and 10 is the worst pain you can imagine?
    5 to 10: Moderate to severe pain
    Moderate to severe pain
    1 to 4: Mild pain
    Mild pain
    Does your child have shaking chills or very heavy sweating?
    Shaking chills are a severe, intense form of shivering. Heavy sweating means that sweat is pouring off the child or soaking through his or her clothes.
    Yes
    Shaking chills or heavy sweating
    No
    Shaking chills or heavy sweating
    Does your child have a health problem or take medicine that weakens his or her immune system?
    Yes
    Disease or medicine that causes immune system problems
    No
    Disease or medicine that causes immune system problems
    Besides fever, do you have other symptoms of a more serious infection?
    Yes
    Symptoms of more serious infection
    No
    Symptoms of more serious infection
    Does your child have a rash that looks like a sunburn?
    Yes
    Sunburn-like rash
    No
    Sunburn-like rash
    Did you take your child's temperature?
    Yes
    Temperature taken
    No
    Temperature taken
    How high is the fever? The answer may depend on how you took the temperature.
    High: 104F (40C) or higher, oral
    High fever: 104F (40C) or higher, oral
    Moderate: 100.4F (38C) to 103.9F (39.9C), oral
    Moderate fever: 100.4F (38C) to 103.9F (39.9C), oral
    Mild: 100.3F (37.9C) or lower, oral
    Mild fever: 100.3F (37.9C) or lower, oral
    How high do you think the fever is?
    High
    Feels fever is high
    Moderate
    Feels fever is moderate
    Mild or low
    Feels fever is mild
    How long has your child had a fever?
    Less than 2 days (48 hours)
    Fever for less than 2 days
    From 2 days to less than 1 week
    Fever for more than 2 days and less than 1 week
    1 week or longer
    Fever for 1 week or more
    Do you think that a medicine may be causing the fever?
    Think about whether the fever started soon after you began using a new medicine or a higher dose of a medicine.
    Yes
    Medicine may be causing the fever
    No
    Medicine may be causing the fever

    Many things can affect how your body responds to a symptom and what kind of care you may need. These include:

    • Your age. Babies and older adults tend to get sicker quicker.
    • Your overall health. If you have a condition such as diabetes, HIV, cancer, or heart disease, you may need to pay closer attention to certain symptoms and seek care sooner.
    • Medicines you take. Certain medicines, herbal remedies, and supplements can cause symptoms or make them worse.
    • Recent health events, such as surgery or injury. These kinds of events can cause symptoms afterwards or make them more serious.
    • Your health habits and lifestyle, such as eating and exercise habits, smoking, alcohol or drug use, sexual history, and travel.

    You can get dehydrated when you lose a lot of fluids because of problems like vomiting or fever.

    Symptoms of dehydration can range from mild to severe. For example:

    • You may feel tired and edgy (mild dehydration), or you may feel weak, not alert, and not able to think clearly (severe dehydration).
    • You may pass less urine than usual (mild dehydration), or you may not be passing urine at all (severe dehydration).

    Severe dehydration means:

    • The baby may be very sleepy and hard to wake up.
    • The baby may have a very dry mouth and very dry eyes (no tears).
    • The baby may have no wet diapers in 12 or more hours.

    Moderate dehydration means:

    • The baby may have no wet diapers in 6 hours.
    • The baby may have a dry mouth and dry eyes (fewer tears than usual).

    Mild dehydration means:

    • The baby may pass a little less urine than usual.

    Try Home Treatment

    You have answered all the questions. Based on your answers, you may be able to take care of this problem at home.

    • Try home treatment to relieve the symptoms.
    • Call your doctor if symptoms get worse or you have any concerns (for example, if symptoms are not getting better as you would expect). You may need care sooner.

    Sudden drooling and trouble swallowing can be signs of a serious problem called epiglottitis. This problem can happen at any age.

    The epiglottis is a flap of tissue at the back of the throat that you can't see when you look in the mouth. When you swallow, it closes to keep food and fluids out of the tube (trachea) that leads to the lungs. If the epiglottis becomes inflamed or infected, it can swell and quickly block the airway. This makes it very hard to breathe.

    The symptoms start suddenly. A person with epiglottitis is likely to seem very sick, have a fever, drool, and have trouble breathing, swallowing, and making sounds. In the case of a child, you may notice the child trying to sit up and lean forward with his or her jaw forward, because it's easier to breathe in this position.

    Babies can quickly get dehydrated when they lose fluids because of problems like vomiting or fever.

    Symptoms of dehydration can range from mild to severe. For example:

    • The baby may be fussy or cranky (mild dehydration), or the baby may be very sleepy and hard to wake up (severe dehydration).
    • The baby may have a little less urine than usual (mild dehydration), or the baby may not be urinating at all (severe dehydration).

    Symptoms of difficulty breathing in a baby or young child can range from mild to severe. For example:

    • The child may be breathing a little faster than usual (mild difficulty breathing), or the child may be having so much trouble that the nostrils are flaring and the belly is moving in and out with every breath (severe difficulty breathing).
    • The child may seem a little out of breath but is still able to eat or talk (mild difficulty breathing), or the child may be breathing so hard that he or she cannot eat or talk (severe difficulty breathing).

    Symptoms of difficulty breathing can range from mild to severe. For example:

    • You may feel a little out of breath but still be able to talk (mild difficulty breathing), or you may be so out of breath that you cannot talk at all (severe difficulty breathing).
    • It may be getting hard to breathe with activity (mild difficulty breathing), or you may have to work very hard to breathe even when you?re at rest (severe difficulty breathing).

    Severe dehydration means:

    • The child's mouth and eyes may be extremely dry.
    • The child may pass little or no urine for 12 or more hours.
    • The child may not seem alert or able to think clearly.
    • The child may be too weak or dizzy to stand.
    • The child may pass out.

    Moderate dehydration means:

    • The child may be a lot more thirsty than usual.
    • The child's mouth and eyes may be drier than usual.
    • The child may pass little or no urine for 8 or more hours.
    • The child may feel dizzy when he or she stands or sits up.

    Mild dehydration means:

    • The child may be more thirsty than usual.
    • The child may pass less urine than usual.

    Fever can be a symptom of almost any type of infection. Symptoms of a more serious infection may include the following:

    • Skin infection: Pain, redness, or pus
    • Joint infection: Severe pain, redness, or warmth in or around a joint
    • Bladder infection: Burningwhen you urinate, and a frequent need to urinate without being able to pass much urine
    • Kidney infection: Pain in the flank, which is either side of the back just below the rib cage
    • Abdominal infection: Belly pain

    Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can trigger an allergic reaction and cause a fever. A few examples are:

    • Antibiotics.
    • Barbiturates, such as phenobarbital.
    • Aspirin, if you take too much.

    Sudden tiny red or purple spots or sudden bruising may be early symptoms of a serious illness or bleeding problem. There are two types.

    Petechiae (say "puh-TEE-kee-eye"):

    • Are tiny, flat red or purple spots in the skin or the lining of the mouth.
    • Do not turn white when you press on them.
    • Range from the size of a pinpoint to the size of a small pea and do not itch or cause pain.
    • May spread over a large area of the body within a few hours.
    • Are different than tiny, flat red spots or birthmarks that are present all the time.

    Purpura (say "PURR-pyuh-ruh" or ?PURR-puh-ruh?):

    • Is sudden, severe bruising that occurs for no clear reason.
    • May be in one area or all over.
    • Is different than the bruising that happens after you bump into something.

    Symptoms of heatstroke may include:

    • Feeling or acting very confused, restless, or anxious.
    • Trouble breathing.
    • Sweating heavily, or not sweating at all (sweating may have stopped).
    • Skin that is red, hot, and dry, even in the armpits.
    • Passing out.
    • Seizure.

    Heatstroke occurs when the body can't control its own temperature and body temperature continues to rise.

    Temperature varies a little depending on how you measure it. For children up to 11 years old, here are the ranges for high, moderate, and mild according to how you took the temperature.

    Oral (by mouth), ear, or rectal temperature

    • High: 104 F (40 C) and higher
    • Moderate: 100.4 F (38 C) to 103.9 F (39.9 C)
    • Mild: 100.3 F (37.9 C) and lower

    Armpit (axillary) temperature

    • High: 103F (39.5C) and higher
    • Moderate: 99.4 F (37.4 C) to 102.9 F (39.4 C)
    • Mild: 99.3F (37.3C) and lower

    Note: For children under 5 years old, rectal temperatures are the most accurate.

    If you're not sure if a child's fever is high, moderate, or mild, think about these issues:

    With a high fever:

    • The child feels very hot.
    • It is likely one of the highest fevers the child has ever had.

    With a moderate fever:

    • The child feels warm or hot.
    • You are sure the child has a fever.

    With a mild fever:

    • The child may feel a little warm.
    • You think the child might have a fever, but you're not sure.

    Severe trouble breathing means:

    • The child cannot eat or talk because he or she is breathing so hard.
    • The child's nostrils are flaring and the belly is moving in and out with every breath.
    • The child seems to be tiring out.
    • The child seems very sleepy or confused.

    Moderate trouble breathing means:

    • The child is breathing a lot faster than usual.
    • The child has to take breaks from eating or talking to breathe.
    • The nostrils flare or the belly moves in and out at times when the child breathes.

    Mild trouble breathing means:

    • The child is breathing a little faster than usual.
    • The child seems a little out of breath but can still eat or talk.

    Pain in children under 3 years

    It can be hard to tell how much pain a baby or toddler is in.

    • Severe pain (8 to 10): The pain is so bad that the baby cannot sleep, cannot get comfortable, and cries constantly no matter what you do. The baby may kick, make fists, or grimace.
    • Moderate pain (5 to 7): The baby is very fussy, clings to you a lot, and may have trouble sleeping but responds when you try to comfort him or her.
    • Mild pain (1 to 4): The baby is a little fussy and clings to you a little but responds when you try to comfort him or her.

    A baby that is extremely sick:

    • May be limp and floppy like a rag doll.
    • May not respond at all to being held, touched, or talked to.
    • May be hard to wake up.

    A baby that is sick (but not extremely sick):

    • May be sleepier than usual.
    • May not eat or drink as much as usual.

    Certain health conditions and medicines weaken the immune system's ability to fight off infection and illness. Some examples in children are:

    • Diseases such as diabetes, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, and congenital heart disease.
    • Steroid medicines, which are used to treat a variety of conditions.
    • Medicines taken after organ transplant.
    • Chemotherapy and radiation therapy for cancer.
    • Not having a spleen.

    Pain in children 3 years and older

    • Severe pain (8 to 10): The pain is so bad that the child can't stand it for more than a few hours, can't sleep, and can't do anything else except focus on the pain. No one can tolerate severe pain for more than a few hours.
    • Moderate pain (5 to 7): The pain is bad enough to disrupt the child's normal activities and sleep, but the child can tolerate it for hours or days.
    • Mild pain (1 to 4): The child notices and may complain of the pain, but it is not bad enough to disrupt his or her sleep or activities.

    You can use a small rubber bulb (called an aspirating bulb) to remove mucus from your baby's nose or mouth when a cold or allergies make it hard for the baby to eat, sleep, or breathe.

    To use the bulb:

    1. Put a few saline nose drops in each side of the baby's nose before you start.
    2. Position the baby with his or her head tilted slightly back.
    3. Squeeze the round base of the bulb.
    4. Gently insert the tip of the bulb tightly inside the baby's nose.
    5. Release the bulb to remove (suction) mucus from the nose.

    Don't do this more than 5 or 6 times a day. Doing it too often can make the congestion worse and can also cause the lining of the nose to swell or bleed.

    Symptoms of serious illness may include:

    • A severe headache.
    • A stiff neck.
    • Mental changes, such as feeling confused or much less alert.
    • Extreme fatigue (to the point where it's hard for you to function).
    • Shaking chills.

    Symptoms of serious illness in a baby may include the following:

    • The baby is limp and floppy like a rag doll.
    • The baby doesn't respond at all to being held, touched, or talked to.
    • The baby is hard to wake up.

    Seek Care Today

    Based on your answers, you may need care soon. The problem probably will not get better without medical care.

    • Call your doctor today to discuss the symptoms and arrange for care.
    • If you cannot reach your doctor or you don't have one, seek care today.
    • If it is evening, watch the symptoms and seek care in the morning.
    • If the symptoms get worse, seek care sooner.

    Call 911 Now

    Based on your answers, you need emergency care.

    Call 911 or other emergency services now.

    Seek Care Now

    Based on your answers, you may need care right away. The problem is likely to get worse without medical care.

    • Call your doctor now to discuss the symptoms and arrange for care.
    • If you cannot reach your doctor or you don't have one, seek care in the next hour.
    • You do not need to call an ambulance unless:
      • You cannot travel safely either by driving yourself or by having someone else drive you.
      • You are in an area where heavy traffic or other problems may slow you down.
    Fever or Chills, Age 12 and Older
    Fever Seizures

    Make an Appointment

    Based on your answers, the problem may not improve without medical care.

    • Make an appointment to see your doctor in the next 1 to 2 weeks.
    • If appropriate, try home treatment while you are waiting for the appointment.
    • If symptoms get worse or you have any concerns, call your doctor. You may need care sooner.
    Postoperative Problems

    Shock is a life-threatening condition that may occur quickly after a sudden illness or injury.

    Symptoms of shock in a child may include:

    • Passing out.
    • Being very sleepy or hard to wake up.
    • Not responding when being touched or talked to.
    • Breathing much faster than usual.
    • Acting confused. The child may not know where he or she is.

    Home Treatment

    It can be hard to know whether you should call your doctor when your child has a fever , especially during the cold and flu season. The degree of the fever may not be related to the seriousness of the illness. The way your child looks and acts is a better guide than the thermometer. Most children will be less active when they have a fever.

    If your child is comfortable and alert, is eating well, is drinking enough fluids, is urinating normal amounts, and seems to be improving, home treatment without medicine is all that is needed for a fever. Dress your child lightly, and do not wrap him or her in blankets. Dressing lightly will help your child's body cool down.

    Try these home treatment measures to make sure your child is drinking enough fluids and does not get dehydrated while he or she has a fever.

    Newborns and babies younger than 1 year of age

    Don't wait until dehydration develops to replace lost fluids. Offer fluids to your baby often.

    • If you breast-feed your baby, nurse him or her more often.
    • If you use a bottle to feed your baby, the amount of fluid you normally use in the formula should be enough to replace lost fluids. Check with your child's doctor if you think you need to feed your baby more often.
    • Use an oral rehydration solution (ORS) if mild or moderate dehydration develops. The amount of ORS your baby needs depends on his or her weight and how dehydrated he or she is. You can give the ORS in a dropper, spoon, or bottle.
    • If your baby has started eating cereal, you may replace lost fluids with cereal. You also may feed your baby strained bananas and mashed potatoes if your child has had these foods before.

    Children ages 1 through 11

    • Make sure your child is drinking often. Frequent, small amounts work best.
    • For children with dehydration, an oral rehydration solution (ORS) or plain water (if the child is eating food) may be used to replace lost fluids.
    • Allow your child to drink as much fluid as he or she wants. Encourage your child to drink extra fluids or suck on flavored ice pops, such as Popsicles. Children ages 4 to 10 should drink at least 6 to 10 glasses of liquids to replace lost fluids.
    • Cereal mixed with milk or water may also be used to replace lost fluids.

    Keep your child comfortable

    Lowering your child's temperature is important when the fever is causing discomfort. If your child is uncomfortable:

    Medicine you can buy without a prescription
    Try a nonprescription medicine to help treat your child's fever or pain:

    Talk to your child's doctor before switching back and forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.

    Safety tips
    Be sure to follow these safety tips when you use a nonprescription medicine:
    • Carefully read and follow all labels on the medicine bottle and box.
    • Give, but do not exceed, the maximum recommended doses.
    • Do not give your child a medicine if he or she has had an allergic reaction to it in the past.
    • Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than age 20 unless directed to do so by your child's doctor.
    • Do not give naproxen (such as Aleve) to children younger than age 12 unless your child's doctor tells you to.
    • Try giving your child a sponge bath with lukewarm water. Do not use cold water, ice, or rubbing alcohol.
    • Encourage quiet activities.
    • Watch for signs of dehydration . These include your child being thirstier than usual and having darker urine than usual.

    Symptoms to watch for during home treatment

    Call your child's doctor if any of the following occur during home treatment:

    • Level of consciousness changes.
    • Your child has signs of dehydration and is not able to drink enough to replace lost fluids. Signs of dehydration include being thirstier than usual and having darker urine than usual.
    • Other symptoms develop, such as pain in one area of the body, shortness of breath, or urinary symptoms.
    • Symptoms become more severe or frequent.

    Prevention

    The best way to prevent fevers is to reduce your child's exposure to infectious diseases. Hand-washing is the single most important prevention measure for people of all ages.

    Childhood immunizations can reduce the risk for fever-related illnesses, such as Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) infection. Although no vaccine is 100% effective, most routine childhood immunizations are effective for 85% to 95% of the children who receive them. For more information, see the topic Immunizations.

    Preparing For Your Appointment

    To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

    You can help your child's doctor diagnose and treat your child's condition by providing the following information:

    • The history of the fever, including:
      • When did the fever start? Did it come on suddenly or increase over several hours?
      • Are you able to measure your child's temperature? How high is the fever?
      • Does the child have any other symptoms?
    • Does your child have frequent fevers?
      • How often does your child get a fever?
      • How long does the fever usually last?
    • Has your child had any other health problems during the past 3 months?
    • Has your child been eating, drinking, and playing normally?
    • Has anyone else in your family been ill?
    • Is your child in day care? If so, have any other children at the facility been ill?
    • Has your child recently traveled outside the country?
    • Has your child recently had close contact with immigrants or nonnative people?
    • Has your child had any animal or insect bites (including ticks) in the past 6 weeks?
    • Does your child have any health risks?

    References

    Other Works Consulted

    • Centigrade to Fahrenheit temperature conversions (2011). In MJ Hockenberry, D Wilson, eds., Wong's Nursing Care of Infants and Children, 9th ed., (inside back cover). St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier.

    Credits

    By Healthwise Staff
    Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
    Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
    Last Revised May 7, 2013

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