As a parent, it is important to understand the various factors of fevers in kids. KidsStreet Urgent Care is here to educate you on the different symptoms, causes, complications, and treatment methods of fever in children.
What Is A Fever?
A fever is simply the body’s way of fighting infection or germs. The immune system raises body temperature, thus making the body feel warm. If your child’s temperature is higher than 100.4°F (38°C), they have a fever.
At KidsStreet Urgent Care, we treat fevers in our urgent care services for kids.
Symptoms of Fevers in Kids
Although fever can be a symptom of another illness, it may also come with a different set of symptoms.
Mild symptoms of fever in children include:
- Child feels warm
- Body aches
- Red or flushed skin
- Increased irritability
Although most cases of fever have mild symptoms, children may experience severe symptoms depending on their age and any pre-existing conditions. Severe symptoms include:
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Stiff neck
- Convulsing or febrile seizures
- Blue tongue, lips, or mouth
Additionally, you should call your child’s provider or visit the emergency department if:
- Your child is younger than three months, and they have a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher
- Your child has a fever for more than 2 days.
- The fever is accompanied by a rash
- Your child’s fever reaches 104° f (40°C)
- Your child is in extreme pain
- The child is excessively crying
- You are having difficulty waking your child up
- They are limp or refusing to move
Causes of Fever in Children
There are many factors that can contribute to your child having a fever. Generally, viruses and infections are the main cause of a fever.
However, other factors can cause fevers such as the following:
- Immunizations, especially if they have been vaccinated within the last 48 hours.
- Overdressing (child is wearing too many clothes)
- Being outside in the summertime for prolonged periods
Treating Fevers in Kids
Unsure of how to treat your kid’s fever? Some of the best treatment methods include:
- Using over-the-counter medications such as children’s tylenol and ibuprofen. Administer these as frequently as the bottle suggests until the fever breaks.
- Dress them in lightweight clothing.
- Ensure room temperatures are not too hot or cold
- Use cold rags on their forehead
- Ensure they rest.
- Administer plenty of fluids so they do not get dehydrated.
It is also best practice to keep children home from school or daycare until they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours.
How To Take Your Child’s Temperature
If you suspect your child has a fever, it’s time to check their temperature! There are a few different ways that you can take your child’s temperature, and your best option depends on the age of your child.
Oral Temperature Reading
Taking a child’s temperature orally is one of the most popular methods, and it consists of using an oral thermometer under the child’s tongue. It is most accurate when utilized for children 4 years old and older. When using this method, temperatures higher than 100°F are classified as a fever.
Rectal Temperature Reading
Checking a child’s temperature rectally is recommended for kids 3 years of age and younger, as it gives the most accurate reading. When using this method, temperatures higher than 100.4°F are classified as a fever.
Tympanic Temperature Reading
Many pediatric providers use the tympanic temperature reading, which consists of inserting a thermometer inside the ear canal. This method is useful for kids older than 6 months, and when utilizing this method, temperatures higher than 100.4°F are classified as a fever.
Temporal Artery Temperature Reading
If you have a digital thermometer, you can take the temporal artery temperature. This is used by running a digital thermometer across the forehead and is acceptable for kids of any age. When using this method, temperatures higher than 100.4°F are classified as a fever.
Axillary Temperature Reading
If your child won’t let you insert the thermometer in their mouth or ear canal, an axillary temperature reading may be a good option. This method uses a thermometer in the armpit to measure temperature. This method is acceptable for kids of all ages, and temperatures higher than 99°F are classified as fever when using this method.
Turn to KidsStreet Urgent Care for Your Urgent Care Needs
Is your child suffering from a fever? KidsStreet Urgent Care is here to help them heal and feel better, FAST! To visit one of our clinics, register online. You’ll be able to wait from your vehicle or at home until we’re ready to see you.
You can register online to secure a spot in line while waiting from your car or your home, and we will alert you via text message when we are ready for you. You will have 30 minutes from when we text you to make it into our office and check in with the front desk.
Walk-ins are welcome, but we highly recommend registering online. This will reduce in-clinic wait times.