Your child has a fever if their temperature is 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) or higher. Most often, fevers are a part of your body’s response to an infection and helps your body try get rid of the infection.

When your child has a fever, they might seem fussier, less energetic, and feel warm to the touch. If they are uncomfortable, you can treat your child with anti-fever medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. You should seek medical care if your child has a fever and ANY of the following:

  • is less than three months old
  • has had three or more days of fevers
  • has a stiff neck
  • is not able to drink fluids (and making fewer wet diapers)
  • any other concerning symptoms

Common questions


What temperature is considered a fever in children?

A fever in children is defined as a body temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) or higher. It's important to use a reliable thermometer and check the temperature correctly to determine if your child has a fever.

Why does my child get a fever, and should I be worried?

Fevers are often a part of the body's natural response to infections, helping to fight off and eliminate the cause of the infection. While fevers can be concerning, they are usually a sign that your child's immune system is working to combat an illness. However, if the fever is very high, persistent, or accompanied by other symptoms, it's important to seek medical advice.

How can I safely treat my child's fever at home?

For a child who is uncomfortable with a fever, you can administer anti-fever medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, following the dosage instructions based on your child's age and weight. Ensure your child is well-hydrated and dressed comfortably. Avoid using cold baths or alcohol rubs as these can cause discomfort.

When should I seek medical attention for my child's fever?

Seek medical care if your child is less than three months old and has a fever, if the fever lasts for three or more days, if they have a stiff neck, are unable to drink fluids or are making fewer wet diapers, or if they show any other concerning symptoms like difficulty breathing, rash, or excessive sleepiness.

Can I prevent fevers in my child?

While not all fevers can be prevented, you can reduce the risk of infections that cause fevers by ensuring good hygiene, such as regular hand washing, and keeping your child up to date with vaccinations. Teach your child to avoid close contact with sick individuals and to practice good respiratory etiquette, like covering their mouth when coughing.

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