There is simply nothing worse than feeling under the weather, except when it’s your small fry that you’ve sworn to protect and nurture forever. Then it’s you, the momma, versus the fever in an epic battle. As a momma, I get this feeling deep in the pit of my stomach that turns me into a grizzly bear, always on high-alert and ready to pounce at the first sign of worry. But there are pretty easy guidelines to remember when dealing with fevers.
Remember, the fever is the body’s natural way of fighting an infection!
- Low fever – 101 to 103 degrees
- High fever – any fever over 103 degrees
Fevers under 103 degrees Fahrenheit aren’t generally anything to panic about, according to Dr. Sears. Give the proper dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen, encourage the child to drink cool liquids, and take a lukewarm bath. Keep your eye on the kiddo and be sure he or she is resting, giving the body and medicine time to fight back.
If you find that the proper rest and treatment is not easing your child’s symptoms, it may be time to call in the big guns. You should call the doctor in the following situations:
- High fevers of 104 or higher that don’t come down to 102 with the treatment measures listed above
- Fever persists for more than 24 hours
- Loss of appetite or inability to drink fluids
- A rash develops
- Difficulty breathing
- Lethargy, aka your child being limp and unresponsive
- Child crying inconsolably for hours.
- Symptoms of high fever with stiff neck or pain in the back of the neck, vomiting, headache, bright light hurts the eyes
- A febrile seizure
The doctor will most likely ask you to bring the child in for an evaluation just to be sure the fever is not indicative of a more serious problem. Remember that there is no risk of brain damage unless a fever reaches over 107 degrees Fahrenheit, although febrile seizures can be very scary.
But always remember – you are the momma and your instincts are spot-on. If you’re worried and feel a doctor should supervise, call one immediately.