Your Sick Child
SHOULD EVERY CHILD WITH FLU COME INTO THE
- In a baby under 3 months, any
temperature over 100.4 is a fever. Because small infants cannot
fight infection as well as older infants and children, you
should call us immediately.
- For older infants and children, a temperature
of 101 or above is considered a fever. Body temperature can be
raised by playing in the hot sun or by overdressing, so unless
your child is acting sick, wait a few minutes and repeat the
temperature after cooling off.
- Fever is a part of the body’s natural
response to invasion by germs.
- The reason to lower fever is for your child’s
comfort so that drinking fluids is easier.
- Fevers that develop in the course of an
illness are not dangerous, even if they get to 104. Dangerous
fevers are 106 and above such as occur when a child is left in a
hot car or plays soccer in the noon day sun without cooling off.
- If a fever does not respond to fever reducing
medication be sure you are giving the right dose. See the
- What is more important than the fever itself
is how your child looks. A child with 101 who does not want to
move, has poor color and seems out of it is sicker than one with
103 who is crying vigorously and reaching out for you.
What’s not true:
- Treating fever cannot prevent a fever
convulsion. Children develop fever convulsions no matter what
you do. SEE fever convulsions link?
- Fever convulsions do not cause brain damage
nor lead to epilepsy. Many children under 5 get them in the
first 24 hours of an illness and 10% of those will have another.
It has nothing to do with how carefully you manage fever.
- Treating fever does not interfere with the
body’s ability to fight infection.
Call immediately or go to the emergency room if:
- Most children will have an episode of
vomiting from time to time, usually from a stomach virus. The
natural impulse for parents is to give the child something to
drink immediately. Don’t. If you do, your child will likely
immediately throw up again.
- Wait a while before challenging the upset
stomach. With an infant, wait the normal time between feedings
and then try a small amount of an oral electrolyte solution such
as Pedialyte. Breast fed babies can be fed some breast milk, but
not a full feeding. Just a small amount at a time.
- For older children, let them tell you when
they feel like taking something. Limit the first feedings to
sips of clear liquids such as flat ginger ale, apple juice, ice
chips, etc. You can increase the volume of each drink slowly
over several hours.
CALL US IMMEDIATELY IF:
- The most important fact about rashes is that
it is almost impossible for us to diagnose them over the phone.
Flea bites and chickenpox can look alike; viral rashes and drug
rashes are hard to tell apart; rashes from shoes may seem like
- Most of the time when you describe a rash
over the phone it is “red spots”. We almost always have to
actually see your child.
CALL US IMMEDIATELY IF: