A no-panic guide to fever

What is fever

A fever is caused by a number of medical conditions ranging from viral, bacterial and parasitic infections. Fever is one of the medical signs, an objective indication of some medical fact or characteristic that may be detected by a physician. Fevers do not normally go beyond 410 C to 420 C (or 105.60 F to 107.60F).


A trying time

A condition like the fever in children is a real test of parents’ patience and parenting skills as younger the children the scarier it is for the parents. Fever makes children cranky and  restless. Sleep eludes them and high fever causes children to whimper through the night, giving the parents some anxious moments. Parents sometimes blame themselves for not being careful enough.


How to deal with fever

Understand that falling sick is part of growing up and no matter how careful parents are, kids will fall sick at some stage. But it is important for parents not to panic. First check the temperature using a standard digital thermometer or a temporal artery scanner. Use a rectal thermometer for infants and young children.

When to worry

Consult your doctor immediately in the following cases:

  • The normal body temperature of humans is typically between 37.50 C to 38.30 C (99.50 F to 100.90 F). Call a doctor if it is higher than 1040 F (> 400 C).
  • A fever may be a child’s response to something more serious.
  • The child is younger than 3 months of age.
  • The fever lasts more than five days. The underlying causes may need to be investigated further.
  • The fever unresponsive to fever reducers.
  • The child was recently immunized and has a temperature above 102º F or a fever for more than 48 hours.
  • The child is difficult to arouse, or is not taking in enough liquids.
  • As parents, your instincts tell you something is not quite right.


When to take it easy

  • Do not worry when your child continues to be playful and is eating and drinking normally in spite of having a fever.
  • Temperatures of up to 102.50 F if your child is 3 months to 3 years of age, or up to 1030 F if your child is older. These temperatures can be common, but not necessarily worrisome.
  • If the child was recently immunized, the fever can be normal if they last less than 48 hours.



The aim of the article is to be informative in a general sort of way. DO CONSULT your doctor and get your child examined in all cases, without exceptions.