A high fever, a cough, or vomiting child can scare any parent. So what do you do? You often pick up the phone and bring your child in to see their doctor. In many cases, your child is just fine and the prescription is TLC.
But recognizing when an illness needs medical attention is important to prevent any further complications.
Parents struggle with "should I call" and bring my child to the doctor or should I just wait it out. It can be very tricky especially for new parents.
One of the top reasons a parent calls their child's pediatrician is for a fever. Fever is a symptom that accompanies many childhood illnesses, especially infections.
So what is a fever and when should you call the doctor? The rule of thumb is:
-If a child is under 3 months of age & has a temperature at or above 100.4,
-if a child is between 3 and 6 months and has a temperature above 101
-or if a child over 6 months has a temperature of 103.
For children over 6 months, it's not about the number BUT how your child is acting. If your child is alert, active, and does not have any difficultly breathing or even if your child's temperature comes down after taking over the counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, you know their body is fighting an infection. Remember: fever is our friend.
Keep in mind your child can not go back to school unless they are fever free for 24 hours...that's without taking any medication.
Remember to give your child plenty of fluids and don't be shy about letting them eat. If they're not interested in eating, try popsicles, a slush or jello. I have a feeling we may be in for a long sick season, so keep chanting, "fever is our friend".
I'm Dr. Sue with The Kid's Doctor helping parents take charge.