Fever in Kids: When to Call the Doctor

Let’s talk about fever. Fever in kids can cause lots of worry. This video will help you learn how to manage
your child’s fever at home and when you should call the doctor. Remember that we’re talking about healthy
children older than 3 months. For children younger than 3 months and children
of any age who have health problems that make infection more likely, a fever can be a sign
of a more serious infection. Always call your doctor for advice. What is a fever? A fever is your body’s normal response to infection. It actually helps you get better. The formal definition of a fever is a temperature
greater than or equal to 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius. Why do you get a fever? Fever is really common in younger kids. They like to put things in their mouth. This is one way they’re exposed to more germs. This isn’t bad. Getting infections actually builds your immune system. Two types of germs cause infections:
viruses and bacteria. Both can cause fever. Most of the time, it’s a virus making your child sick. Your immune system takes care of viruses. Antibiotics don’t help. Bacteria are different. They cause infections that may get worse if
they’re not treated with antibiotics. Examples are urinary tract infections and strep throat. Why does fever make you feel bad? Even though fever makes you feel bad, fever
is actually helping your body get well. Fever is your friend. When a virus or bacteria enters the body,
the brain turns the thermostat up. A higher temperature makes
it harder for the germs to multiply. The heart rate goes up, so breathing
gets faster and harder. Muscle activity increases, so your child might
shiver and feel achy. Their hands and feet may feel cold and they
might have a headache. And of course, they’ll be tired and cranky. All of these fever symptoms are typical and
expected: faster heart rate and breathing, shivering, cold hands and feet, headache and
body aches, tired and fussy, and poor appetite. One fear about fever is that it can cause
seizures and brain damage. A high temperature will not cause brain damage,
and seizures due to fever are rare. When seizures from fever do occur, they’re
usually brief and don’t cause harm. How can I help? Most of the time, you won’t even need to check
the temperature with a thermometer. You can usually tell that your
child has a fever just by touch. If your child has a fever, dress them in light
clothing, put a cool washcloth on their forehead, make sure they rest, and encourage them to drink. Fever makes the body work harder,
so it uses more water. If your child isn’t urinating or having a
wet diaper at least once every 6 to 8 hours, call your doctor. If your child seems very uncomfortable, you
can use fever medicines like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. These medicines work by resetting the body’s
thermostat closer to normal, but they’re not necessary. If you do use fever medicine,
choose just one; don’t alternate. And be sure to give the correct dose. Fever may come back when the
medicine wears off and that’s OK. Fever will go up and down on its own, whether
you give your child medicine or not. And the fever will be higher
in the afternoon and at night. When should I call the doctor? Kids who have fever will act sick, but a few
times during the day, they should be perkier. If you see this, feel reassured. Many parents think that their child’s temperature
is the main thing to watch and worry about. But it’s much more important to focus on the
other symptoms, as you decide whether you need to call a doctor. It’s time to call your doctor if your child
has any of these symptoms: extremely sleepy or irritable; trouble breathing; rashes; pain,
redness or swelling localized in one area (like a bad sore throat or a red, swollen
knee); drinking very little or not at all; severely decreased urination; fever lasting
longer than three days; or seizure. If you have a feeling that something isn’t right,
trust your instincts and call your doctor. Remember, if your child has a fever, don’t
panic, and don’t worry too much about the temperature; focus on the symptoms. ♪♪ Thanks for learning with us. ♪♪

37 thoughts on “Fever in Kids: When to Call the Doctor

  1. Dang it, this doesn’t feel good. I went for a run in the heat at about 80 or more degrees, and I got back home and took a very cold shower, right when I stepped into the shower I knew I screwed up 🙁 gonna try some Oj🙏🏼

  2. i have a disease always in CHOP but you guys asked me to try not to go to hospital because i can die if i get sick. i had a 104.5 fever and was gonna head to hospital but i couldn’t. a week later i was a lot better and i’m glad i didn’t go or i’d get more sick and maybe even die.

  3. I remember I had a fever as a kid , I remember the Orderlys and Nurses gave me a fast cold bath to break my fever , than I spent 3 days in the children’s ward recovering while my parents were in Alberta Canada visiting relatives and left my babysitter to bring me to the children’s wards in the hospital to recover from a bad fever .

  4. My nephew of 13 months has a fever of 40c and my family refuse to take him to the hospital😭😭I don't know what to do I'm panicking by myself. I don't have money and I can't drive and no one will listen to me

  5. Omg I was soo scared because I thought I had a brain tumor, but all of my symptoms match with the symptoms of a fever
    Keep up the great work!

  6. I have dance competition after 2 days. I need to practice but I have fever. Would practicing during fever increase it?

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