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Is it just a fever or something more?

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Just about any infection can cause a fever. Even exposure to a new environment, like starting in a new school (new kids, new germs) can ignite a fever. It’s the body’s way of fighting off infection and is a sign your child’s immune system is in working order. So, at what point does a fever warrant a visit to the doctor?

If your child is still behaving normally but has a fever (anything above 100.4 °F), some at-home care and TLC may be all the remedy they’ll need. 

Recommendations for at-home care:
Keep your little one hydrated with water, popsicles, or gelatin. 
For persistent fevers, confirm with your doctor if alternating between Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) is recommended. As always, check and follow dosage guidelines before giving any medication.
It may seem logical, but a cold or ice bath will not “break” a fever. Instead, give your little one a lukewarm bath. It’s particularly effective after giving medication.
Dress your child in light, breathable clothing. Excess or heavy layers can actually cause chills.
Have them rest and not exert themselves when playing.
Check their temperature regularly. 

Remember, fever medicine only reduces the temperature but doesn’t treat the underlying cause of the fever. So in addition to their temperature, observe your little one’s mood, appearance and appetite.

Call or see a doctor right away if your child:
Is younger than 3 months old and has a temperature of 100.4 °F or higher
Is 3 -12 months old and has a fever of 102.2 °F or higher
Is 12 months or older and has a fever of 103 °F or higher
Has a fever that lasts longer than 24 – 48 hours
Has a rash in addition to the fever 
Has an underlying medical condition that puts them at increased risk to infections 
Complains of a sore throat, earache, or pain when urinating 
Seems lethargic or has a sudden change in their behavior 


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