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First-Time Parents: What to Know About Fevers in Young Children

December 26, 2017
pediatric walk in clinic

First-time parents are bound to panic when anything, big or small, seems wrong with their child. However, there seems to be one thing that can send young parents into full-blown panic mode: first fevers. Fevers can be very scary for first-time parents, or any parent really. But it’s important to remember that every child will experience a fever at one point or another, no matter how careful the parents are.
If you’re a first-time parent you may not even know where to begin when your child’s temperature starts to rise. Luckily, we’ve compiled a brief guide to fevers in young children to help you get through baby’s first fever.

A fever is typically considered a temperature above 100.4 F, but that threshold depends on age (more on this later). If your child’s forehead feels warmer than normal, it’s a good idea to take their temperature to be sure that they do have a fever. Fortunately, there is a wide variety of thermometers available. You can use any type of thermometer that you’re comfortable using. However, it’s important to remember that activity plays a role in a child’s temperature. So if your child has been running around or being active, their temperature is going to be higher than if they were to just wake up. Additionally, it’s important to pay attention to how your child is acting. A high fever that doesn’t stop your child from acting like they usually do may not be a cause for alarm.

Fevers in Children
While all parents worry at the slightest sign that something may be wrong, there are instances when you should definitely visit a pediatric walk in clinic. You should take your child to a doctor if:

  • The fever lasts more than five days
  • The fever doesn’t come down with fever reducers
  • The fever is higher than 104 F
  • Your child is not taking in enough liquids
  • Your child was recently immunized and has a temperature over 102 F

Fevers in Toddlers
If your child is under the age of three and has a fever, it’s usually a good idea to visit a pediatric walk in clinic. A fever in a child so young may be a response to a serious illness. However, you should also visit a doctor if:

  • The fever is higher than 103 F
  • Your child has a fever and is experiencing loss of appetite, a cough, unusual fussiness, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Your child is noticeably pale
  • Your child is not taking in enough fluids
  • Your child has an unexplained rash
  • Your child has difficulty breathing

While Americans get about one billion colds each year, a fever may not mean anything serious. But as a first-time parent, it’s okay to call a doctor or visit a pediatric walk in clinic if you’re concerned about your child’s health. It’s important to remember that no one knows your child better than you do and you should trust your instincts if you think something is wrong.

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