When should you worry about your child’s fever ?



Dr Paula Goel , Pediatrician & Adolescent physician , Fayth Clinic

Fever occurs when your body is fighting an infection ,  inflammation, overdressing a child and also after immunization  . It’s a common occurrence and children get fever from time to time , however if the fever is very high and is associated with complications , then it is worrisome. Generally the body is set at temperature of around 98.6°F/37°C. Minor variations in body temperature may occur during the day and is absolutely normal

When Is a Fever a Sign of Something Serious?

In healthy kids, fever will subside unless there is associated problems . High fever may cause dehydration . When temperature is lower than 102°F (38.9°C) medicine may not be required unless the child is very uncomfortable .

When to visit  your doctor :


  • an infant 3 months or younger with a rectal temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, it is essential to meet your doctor   Even a slight fever can be a sign of a potentially serious infection in very young babies.
  • If your child is between 3 months – 3 years old and has a fever of 102.2°F (39°C) or higherit is necessary to go to your doctor .
  • For older kids, take behavior and activity level should be taken into account. Watching how your child behaves will give you a pretty good idea of whether a minor illness is the cause or if your child should be seen by a doctor.

Sick little girl covered in blanket is lying on couch while her father is taking her temperature

Sick little girl covered in blanket is lying on couch while her father is taking her temperature

The illness is probably not serious if your child:

  • 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 or her temperature comes down


Confirmation of fever is important by Using  a reliable digital thermometer . It’s a fever when a child’s temperature is at or above one of these levels:

  • measured orally(in the mouth): 100°F (37.8°C)
  • measured rectally(in the bottom): 100.4°F (38°C)
  • measured in an axillaryposition (under the arm): 99°F (37.2°C)

Fevers can rise and fall, a child might have chills as the body’s temperature begins to rise. The child may sweat to release extra heat as the temperature starts to drop.

Sometimes kids with a fever have rapid breathing  than usual and may have a faster heart rate.

When Should I worry about the fever ? The exact temperature that should trigger a call to the doctor depends on a child’s age, the illness, and whether there are other symptoms with the fever.

  • infant younger than 3 months old with a rectal temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher
  • older child with a temperature of higher than 102.2°F (39°C)
  • If your child refuses fluids or seems too ill to drink adequately
  • has lasting diarrheaor repeated vomiting
  • has any signs of dehydration and is lethargic
  • has a specific complaint (like a sore throator earache)
  • still has a fever after 24 hours (in kids younger than 2 years old) or 72 hours (in kids 2 years or older)
  • has a chronic medical problem, such as heart disease, cancer
  • has a rash with fever
  • has pain while passing urine
  • Wont stop crying and is very irritable
  • sluggishness and trouble waking up
  • a rash or purple spots that look like bruises on the skin (that were not there before your child got sick)
  • blue lips, tongue, or nails
  • infant’s soft spot on the head seems to be bulging out or sunken in
  • stiff neck
  • severe headache
  • limpness or refusal to move
  • trouble breathing that doesn’t get better when the nose is cleared
  • leaning forward and drooling
  • convulsions
  • moderate to severe belly pain

All children with fever, comes back to normal within a few days. For older babies and kids, the way they act can be more important than the reading on your thermometer. Everyone gets a little cranky when they have a fever. This is normal and should be expected. However , if you are doubtful about what to do , it is  essential to call your doctor for advice .

Fayth Clinic ( NABH accredited & ISO 9001:2015 certified ) diagnostic centre & medical clinic.  Our integrated diagnostic and medical services with experience of senior medical consultants  provide patient friendly healthcare services . We provide 3 years digitalized medical reports which is accessible worldwide . Our doctors  and paramedical staff are easily accessible and empathetic to the patients needs.

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Book your pediatric  consult at  8879443733/7738630144  or send us an enquiry at services@faythclinic.com .

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