Without a doubt, fever is a major cause of concern for parents. For pediatricians, not so much. Parents frequently ask: “When should I worry?” and “How high can I let the fever go before I go to the emergency room?”
Hopefully, the article below by Dr. Tyeese Gaines will help, especially this section:
When to worry?
- Fever in a child two months of age or younger
- A child who still appears lethargic after the fever has gone away
- Fever lasting longer than five days
- Fever in a child with a lowered immune system or a chronic disease
- Fever after spending prolonged time in the heat
- A febrile child who is vomiting non-stop or not drinking fluids
- Fever with a stiff neck and headache
I would also add the following:
- Fever with rash. (A rash that occurs once the fever has gone is most frequently viral and, therefore, not concerning. A rash and a fever occuring at the same time IS concerning.)
- Fever associated with severe pain (anywhere– head, belly, extremity, etc)
- Fever and a bad cough or difficulty breathing.
- Fever in a child who is not immunized or under-immunized.