Just wanted to give all the parents out there a heads up. There is some virus going around that's like the flu that leads to very high fevers. All up and down the east coast. I heard in DC they broke a record two weeks in a row for kids admitted to the ER. And a Dr in the NYC area told me that it was normal for him to be seeing temps of 103+ this week. So keep an eye on your kids if they start to act out of sorts. These are very high fevers that need to be addressed.
Nasty virus going around(14 posts)
Strep is rampant in my neighborhood now, along with stomach virus.
i hear little ones are coming down with mono....keep an eye out for that too
oot for life -"And a Dr in the NYC area told me that it was normal for him to be seeing temps of 103+ this week. So keep an eye on your kids if they start to act out of sorts. These are very high fevers that need to be addressed."
I don't know if you meant to imply that 103 is a high fever or not, but Fyi 103 is Not a high fever in kids.
But don't believe me because some people here claim I'm not a medical professional only they are because they took an EMT course which makes them as smart as a doctor, PA or NP.
"I heard in DC they broke a record two weeks in a row for kids admitted to the ER."
Oh, btw, you aren't "admitted to the ER"; the ER/ED is the place where they decide whether to admit you to the hospital. You might have known this, but I just wanted to clarify it.
PROLONGED FEVER as high as 103 is dangerous for adults and children. For your child under 4 y.o. even more so. A fever above 102 for an infant is critical.
Health, you're wrong. A 103 fever is extremely dangerous unless it immediately starts to go down.
It takes a 107 fever to produce brain damage. However, children will usually experience seizures, hallucinations and/or delirium even before it gets that high. Any of those symptoms requires emergency treatment, even if the temperature measured is less than 103.
At 105 and rising, it is time to call an ambulance; it is foolish to wait until brain damage actually occurs. Prevention is the best treatment, and children's brains are very delicate.
True, 103 is usually not life-threatening, but it is the point where you begin aggressively treating the fever. Most ordinary childhood illnesses should not produce a temperature above 103 for very long; if it goes higher and Tylenol/Motrin/a cool bath isn't reducing it to 102 or so, you should call a doctor immediately.
I usually don't speak so sharply, but as you claim to be in the health field, I have to be clear so that people don't listen to your dangerous advice.
My infant grandson was running a fever. But he was also playful, eating, laughing, and though clearly ill, was not acting ill. I watch for the personality of the sick individual. Someone can have no or a low-grade fever and be quite ill. Fever is not an illness. It is the body's way of fighting OFF an illness. Only when it gets so high that the person is in danger of dehydration and seizure, is it problematic. That's why we want to bring it down.
Oomis is exactly right. If a child is seizing or very sick, it doesn't matter what the fever is, they need immediate attention. Alternatively, if the child seems fine but has 102 or 103, he's probably fine.
Health claimed that 103 is not a high fever, we just need to be clear that it is.
torah613613torah -"Oomis is exactly right. If a child is seizing or very sick, it doesn't matter what the fever is, they need immediate attention. Alternatively, if the child seems fine but has 102 or 103, he's probably fine."
Yea she's right, but you just contradicted yourself and I quote:
"Health, you're wrong. A 103 fever is extremely dangerous unless it immediately starts to go down."
How could the kid be fine and it's extremely dangerous at the same time?
You probably read in some book this about kids or you have minimal medical education like an EMT or something. Now I'm going to have to write a post explaining what I meant. I should have figured that in the CR I just can't write a simple thing without s/o jumping on me. But don't worry I'll just quote the AAP so e/o will understand. I'm going to write for a layman so all those Dr. Welby's out there will have to realize that and ask questions based on that. We have (Medical Prof) different protocols based on what the fever is - on how to work it up.
Body temperature is measured differently depending on a child's age. If measured rectally, a child is said to be running a fever when the body temperature is over 100.4. Orally, that measurement is 98.6. I always figure in a few (2-3) tenths of a degree if it is late in the day (not night when child is sleeping) if they have been active and running around. If an infant under 2 months has a body temperature over 100.4, they need to be brought to the ER. For an infant 2-6 months, contact doctor for advice. Fevers very commonly run between 100-103 with illness like flu, strep throat, bronchitis, ear infections, etc. An older child (over a year) does not need to be brought to the doctor for a simple fever. If they display other symptoms (rubbing the ear, cough, complaints of sore throat, not drinking or eating), then I would bring a child to the doctor even if their fever is in the not so high range.
I would say that if a child has a fever of 103-104 and is acting sick, give a dose of children's Advil, use heat-reducing therapies like a lukewarm bath (not cold as this will induce shivering and can raise the fever higher) and wait an hour and measure again. It will hopefully have come down to 102 or below. As hudi said, if the child has a sustained fever of 103 or higher, then a doctor's attention is necessary. I would say if it goes over 104, then contact the doctor and ask whether to bring the child to the ER.
For fevers that keep going back up, I was told in the ER that it is OK to rotate different types of fever-reducing medications, such as Advil and Tylenol. Advil is given no more than every 6 hours (preferably 8 when doing a rotation, 6 if given alone) and Tylenol every 4 hours. If you have to do this for 24 hours or more, I would not hesitate to contact the doctor about the fever that won't stay down for more than an hour or two.
Febrile seizures (the ones associated with fever) usually happen when the fever is spiking (more often happens at the beginning of an illness but can also even in the middle). These need medical attention immediately.
Just as a last comment - the doctor doesn't mean that it's normal to have kids with fever over 103, just that it has become common in his practice because of the illnesses running around.
Everybody should have a healthy winter!!!
From the AAP Website -HealthyChildren.org:
A fever is usually caused by infections from viruses (such as a cold or the flu) or bacteria (such as strep throat or some ear infections). The fever itself is not the disease, only a sign that the body’s defenses are trying to fight an infection.
Fever and Your Baby:
Your child's normal temperature will vary with his age, activity, and the time of day. Infants tend to have higher temperatures than older children, and everyone’s temperature is highest between late afternoon and early evening and lowest between midnight and early morning. Ordinarily, a rectal reading of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) or less, or an oral reading of 99 degrees Fahrenheit (37.2 degrees Celsius) or less, is considered normal, while higher readings indicate fever.
By itself, fever is not an illness. Rather, it is a sign or symptom of sickness. In fact, usually it is a positive sign that the body is fighting infection. Fever stimulates certain defenses, such as the white blood cells, which attack and destroy invading bacteria.
The fever may actually be important in helping your child fight his infection. However, fever can make your child uncomfortable. It increases his need for fluids and makes his heart rate and breathing rate faster. Fever most commonly accompanies respiratory illnesses such as croup or pneumonia, ear infections, influenza (flu), severe colds, and sore throats. It also may occur with infections of the bowel, blood, or urinary tract, inflammation of brain and spinal cord (meningitis), and with a wide variety of viral illnesses.
In children between six months and five years, fever can trigger seizures, called febrile convulsions. These convulsions tend to run in families, and usually happen during the first few hours of a febrile illness. Children may look “peculiar” for a few moments, then stiffen, twitch, and roll their eyes. They will be unresponsive for a short time, and their skin may appear to be a little darker than usual during the episode. The entire convulsion usually lasts less than one minute, and may be over in a few seconds, but it can seem like a lifetime to a frightened parent. Although uncommon, convulsions can last for up to fifteen minutes or longer. It is reassuring to know that febrile convulsions almost always are harmless—they do not cause brain damage, nervous system problems, paralysis, mental retardation, or death—although they should be reported promptly to your pediatrician. If your child is having trouble breathing or the convulsion (also referred to as a seizure) does not stop within fifteen minutes, call 911.
How to Take a Child's Temperature:
Taking Your Child's Temperature:
While you often can tell if your child is warmer than usual by feeling his forehead, only a thermometer can tell how high the temperature is. Even if your child feels warmer than usual, you do not necessarily need to check this temperature unless he has other signs of illness.
Always use a digital thermometer to check your child’s temperature (see “Types of digital thermometers” chart below fore more information, including guidelines on what type of thermometer to use by age). Mercury thermometers should not be used. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages parents to remove mercury thermometers from their homes to prevent accidental exposure and poisoning.
Note: Temperature readings may be affected by how the temperature is measured and other factors. Your child’s temperature and other signs of illness will help your doctor recommend treatment that is best for your child.
Types of Digital Thermometers:
(I didn't copy & paste the chart -you can look it up - Health.)
The following are 3 types of digital thermometers. While other methods for taking your child’s temperature are available, such as pacifier thermometers or fever strips, they are not recommended at this time. Ask your child’s doctor for advice.
Digital multiuse thermometer:
Reads body temperature when the sensor located on the tip of the thermometer touches that part of the body.
Can be used rectally, orally, or axillary.
Rectal (in the bottom)
Oral (in the mouth)
Label thermometer "oral" or "rectal". Don't use the same thermometer in both places.
How to Use a Digital Multiuse Thermometer:
If your child is younger than 3 years, taking a rectal temperature gives the best reading. The following is how to take a rectal temperature:
Clean the end of the thermometer with rubbing alcohol or soap and water. Rinse it with cool water. Do not rinse it with hot water.
Put a small amount of lubricant, such as petroleum jelly, on the end.
Place your child belly down across your lap or on a firm surface. Hold him by placing your palm against his lower back, just above his bottom. Or place your child face up and bend his legs to his chest. Rest your free hand against the back of the thighs.
With the other hand, turn the thermometer on and insert it 1/2 inch to 1 inch into the anal opening. Do not insert it too far. Hold the thermometer in place loosely with 2 fingers, keeping your hand cupped around your child’s bottom. Keep it there for about 1 minute, until you hear the “beep.” Then remove and check the digital reading.
Be sure to label the rectal thermometer so it's not accidentally used in the mouth.
Once your child is 4 or 5 years of age, you can take his temperature by mouth. The following is how to take an oral temperature:
Clean the thermometer with lukewarm soapy water or rubbing alcohol. Rinse with cool water.
Turn the thermometer on and place the tip under your child’s tongue toward the back of his mouth. Hold in place for about 1 minute, until you hear the “beep.” Check the digital reading.
For a correct reading, wait at least 15 minutes after your child has had a hot or cold drink before putting the thermometer in his mouth.
When to call the doctor:
The most important things you can do when your child has a fever are to improve your child’s comfort by making sure they drink enough fluids to stay hydrated and monitor for signs and symptoms of a serious illness. It is a good sign if your child plays and interacts with you after receiving medicine for discomfort.
Call your child’s doctor right away (Or call 911 in some cases -Health)
if your child has a fever and
Looks very ill, is unusually drowsy, or is very fussy
Has been in a very hot place, such as an overheated car
Has other symptoms, such as a stiff neck, severe headache, severe sore throat, severe ear pain, an unexplained rash, or repeated vomiting or diarrhea
Has immune system problems, such as sickle cell disease or cancer, or is taking steroids
Has had a seizure
Is younger than 3 months (12 weeks) and has a temperature of 100.4°F (38.0°C) or higher
Fever rises above 104°F (40°C) repeatedly for a child of any age
Also call your child’s doctor if
Your child still “acts sick” once his fever is brought down.
Your child seems to be getting worse.
The fever persists for more than 24 hours in a child younger than 2 years.
The fever persists for more than 3 days (72 hours) in a child 2 years of age or older.
Signs and Symptoms of Fever:
A fever is usually a sign that the body is fighting an illness or infection. Fevers are generally harmless. In fact, they can be considered a good sign that your child’s immune system is working and the body is trying to heal itself. While it is important to look for the cause of a fever, the main purpose for treating it is to help your child feel better if he is uncomfortable or has pain.
What is a Fever:
Normal body temperature varies with age, general health, activity level, and time of day. Infants tend to have higher temperatures than older children. Everyone’s temperature is highest between late afternoon and early evening, and lowest between midnight and early morning. Even how much clothing a person wears can affect body temperature.
A fever is a body temperature that is higher than normal. While the average normal body temperature is 98.6°F (37°C), a normal temperature range is between 97.5°F (36.4°C) and 99.5°F (37.5°C). Most pediatricians consider a temperature above 100.4°F (38°C) as a sign of a fever.
Signs and Symptoms of a Fever:
If your child has a fever, she may feel warm, appear flushed, or sweat more than usual. She may also be more thirsty than usual.
Some children feel fine when they have a fever. However, most will have symptoms of the illness that is causing the fever. Your child may have an earache, a sore throat, a rash, or a stomach ache. These signs can provide important clues as to the cause of the fever.
Medications Used to Treat Fever:
Treating your child’s fever:
If your child is older than 6 months and has a fever, she probably does not need to be treated for the fever unless she is uncomfortable. Watch her behavior. If she is drinking, eating, sleeping normally, and is able to play, you should wait to see if the fever improves by itself and do not need to treat the fever.
What you can do:
Keep her room comfortably cool.
Make sure that she is dressed in light clothing.
Encourage her to drink fluids such as water, diluted juices, or a store-bought electrolyte solution.
Be sure that she does not overexert herself.
Check with your doctor before giving medicine
How to improve your child’s comfort with medicine
Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are safe and effective medicines if used as directed for improving your child’s comfort, and they may also decrease the fever. They do not need a prescription and are available at grocery stores and drugstores. However, keep the following in mind:
Ibuprofen should only be used for children older than 6 months. It should not be given to children who are vomiting constantly or are dehydrated.
Do not use aspirin to treat your child’s fever or discomfort. Aspirin has been linked with side effects such as an upset stomach, intestinal bleeding and, most seriously, Reye syndrome.
If your child is vomiting and cannot take anything by mouth, a rectal suppository may be needed. Acetaminophen comes in suppository form and can help reduce discomfort in a vomiting child.
Treating a Fever Without Medicine:
Fevers generally do not need to be treated with medication unless your child is uncomfortable or has a history of febrile convulsions. The fever may be important in helping your child fight the infection.
Even higher temperatures are not in themselves dangerous or significant unless your child has a history of seizures or a chronic disease. Even if your child has a history of a fever-related convulsion and you treat the fever with medication, they may still have this kind of seizure. It is more important to watch how your child is behaving.
If he is eating and sleeping well and has periods of playfulness, he probably doesn’t need any treatment. You should also talk with your pediatrician about when to treat your child’s fever.
Treatment Suggestions for Fever:
Keep your child’s room and your home comfortably cool, and dress him lightly.
Encourage him to drink extra fluid or other liquids (water, diluted fruit juices, commercially prepared oral electrolyte solutions, gelatin [Jell-O], Popsicles, etc.).
If the room is warm or stuffy, place a fan nearby to keep cool air moving.
Your child does not have to stay in his room or in bed when he has a fever. He can be up and about the house, but should not run around and overexert himself.
If the fever is a symptom of a highly contagious disease (e.g., chickenpox or the flu), keep your child away from other children, elderly people, or people who may not be able to fight infection well, such as those with cancer.
In most cases, using oral acetaminophen or ibuprofen is the most convenient way to make your feverish child more comfortable. However, sometimes you may want to combine this with tepid sponging, or just use sponging alone.
Sponging is preferred over acetaminophen or ibuprofen if:
Your child is known to be allergic to, or is unable to tolerate, antipyretic (anti-fever) drugs (a rare case).
It is advisable to combine sponging with acetaminophen or ibuprofen if:
Fever is making your child extremely uncomfortable.
He is vomiting and may not be able to keep the medication in his stomach.
(Temp. over 104 F or 40 C.)
(History of febrile convulsions or s/o in immediate family has had them.)
(The last two recommendations comes from a previous edition of the AAP book. -Health)
To sponge your child, place him in his regular bath (tub or baby bath), but put only 1 to 2 inches of tepid water (85–90 degrees Fahrenheit, or 29.4–32.2 degrees Celsius) in the basin. If you do not have a bath thermometer, test the water with the back of your hand or wrist. It should feel just slightly warm. Do not use cold water, since that will be uncomfortable and may cause shivering, which can raise his temperature. If your child starts to shiver, then the water is too cold. Shivering can make a fever worse; take your child out of the bath if he shivers.
Seat your child in the water—it is more comfortable than lying down. Then, using a clean washcloth or sponge, spread a film of water over his trunk, arms, and legs. The water will evaporate and cool the body. Keep the room at about 75 degrees Fahrenheit (23.9 degrees Celsius), and continue sponging him until his temperature has reached an acceptable level. Never put rubbing alcohol in the water; it can be absorbed into the skin or inhaled, which can cause serious problems, such as coma.
Usually sponging will bring down the fever by one to two degrees in thirty to forty-five minutes. However, if your child is resisting actively, stop and let him just sit and play in the water. If being in the tub makes him more upset and uncomfortable, it is best to take him out even if his fever is unchanged. Remember, a fever less than 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40.5 degrees Celsius) is in itself not harmful.
(They corrected/changed this from previous; before this latest edition they wrote -"Remember, a fever in the moderate range -less than 102 degrees Fahrenheit (38.9 degrees Celsius) is in itself not harmful. -Health)
(I got most of the articles, but not all - Health.)
Sorry Mods for the length, but every parent has to know this -Health.
Nechomah -"Body temperature is measured differently depending on a child's age. If measured rectally, a child is said to be running a fever when the body temperature is over 100.4. Orally, that measurement is 98.6."
Your last line should say -
"Orally, that measurement is 99 degrees Fahrenheit."
It would have been a nice post a few years ago, but as you see from my long post -they changed a lot of it. And in Medicine we usually go after the latest recommendations.
That's a great post Health. I hope all new (and not so new) parents take the time to read it. All in all, I think what I posted was not far off (do not mean we should take chances with our children's health), and since I'm basically past childbearing years, I am more interested for when it will be time for grandchildren, byz"H. Did you find specific things in my post that were really off base? I did try to read your whole post, honest.
I am sorry this thread caused argument and discord, that was not my purpose. I was simply trying to alert people to what we were going through at my home for the past couple days as a public service announcement. I had no intention of insulting by misquote anyone in the medical professional. Nor did I intend for individuals parenting and care-giving methods to be questioned. Since the purpose of my OP has become a springboard for disharmony can the mods please close this thread. Thank you, and sorry.
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