Quick Guides & Forms

Fever

FEVER DOES NOT CAUSE BRAIN DAMAGE. Fever only rarely causes a seizure (and that's only in children under 5 who are susceptible to "febrile seizures"). A fever actually helps children fight off infections. The only reason to treat a fever is to help your child be more comfortable. Remember:

  • a fever is usually caused by a virus (for example a cold or "stomach flu"). The fever usually lasts 2 or 3 days.
  • normal temperature is anywhere between 97 to 100 degrees.
  • fevers often go higher in the afternoon and evening; this doesn't mean they are sicker.
  • don't ever give aspirin to a child.
Listless is NORMAL with a fever. Just like you feel when you have a fever, a child will be cranky, tired and want to sleep a lot; they have no energy. However, they can look at you, may smile occasionally, and perk up for a few seconds now and then-- just like you feel with a fever. Lethargic is NOT NORMAL. A lethargic child sleeps constantly, can't hardly  even wake up, won't look at you straight in the eyes, and they're limp like a "dishrag".

Call immediately if you see any of these symptoms:
  1. They are lethargic, if their "soft spot" is bulging out, or if they have a stiff neck (check for this by having them sit upright; get there attention with a toy and then put the toy on their belly button-- if they look right down at it, their neck is probably not stiff.)
  2. Your child is less than 3 months old.
  3. They are having a hard time breathing (not just a stuffy nose.)
Call during office hours if you see any of these symptoms:
  1. The fever lasts longer than 3-4 days.
  2. If your child seems sicker than you would feel with the same temperature.
  3. The temperature is over 103.