Fever: when to consult a pediatrician?
Ah, fevers. For families with toddlers, sometimes it can feel like there is a fever every few days through the winter!
The elevation of body temperature is a normal part of the immune system's response to something it recognizes as foreign. In the winter, viruses are the most common culprits. While it can be scary and is important to treat seriously, rest assured that it's a normal part of the little ones' immune system.
Fever by itself doesn't always necessitate a trip to the doctors. In fact, most of the time it can be managed at home. However, there are some red flags with childhood fevers that should lead to a consultation with a pediatrician (or, for Kinder families, shoot your pediatrician a quick text).
Contact your pediatrician if:
- Your child is 2 months or younger and has a fever
- The fever (above 100.4F or 38C) persists for more than 5 days
- The fever lasts more than 36 hours with no other symptoms at all
- Your child is acting "not themselves," extremely fatigued or lethargic or incoherent, even when the fever has been brought down by medications.
- Your child have urination problems such as pain, discomfort or less than 3 urines per day
- Your child's vaccines are not up to date. Kids who have not had routine childhood vaccines should be evaluated by the doctor for every fever.
- There is a history of febrile seizures
- The fever is associated with trouble breathing, very rapid or labored breathing.
We know that COVID has only added to these anxieties this year, but rest assured that symptoms of COVID in children should still be managed in the same way at home unless they reach a level that requires hospital management, indicated by many of the points on this list. And if you are not sure about whether your child needs evaluation and/or testing, that's what we're here for! We now even offer new COVID-19 services such as at-home testing. Visit our COVID-19 page for more information.
We wish you and your family a lovely Fall and Winter. Stay warm, stay well, and we are here for you!
Dr. Amy and the Kinder Team