Figuring out fever in children

Fever is a common symptom in little ones and can be a obstacle for dad and mom to make a decision how to manage. The C.S. Mott Children’s Medical center Countrywide Poll on Children’s Wellbeing asked a countrywide sample of mother and father of children -12 decades about their actions and choices when their child may have a fever.

Most parents (89{fc1509ea675b3874d16a3203a98b9a1bd8da61315181db431b4a7ea1394b614e}) concur that functioning a lower-quality fever helps a child’s overall body struggle off an infection. 3 in four parents (75{fc1509ea675b3874d16a3203a98b9a1bd8da61315181db431b4a7ea1394b614e}) say they take their child’s temperature as soon as they notice a doable issue, though 23{fc1509ea675b3874d16a3203a98b9a1bd8da61315181db431b4a7ea1394b614e} of mother and father hold out to see if the dilemma carries on or worsens ahead of using their temperature 2{fc1509ea675b3874d16a3203a98b9a1bd8da61315181db431b4a7ea1394b614e} get their child’s temperature in exceptional situations only.

Mother and father say they normally just take their child’s temperature by brow scan (45{fc1509ea675b3874d16a3203a98b9a1bd8da61315181db431b4a7ea1394b614e}), mouth (25{fc1509ea675b3874d16a3203a98b9a1bd8da61315181db431b4a7ea1394b614e}), ear scan (13{fc1509ea675b3874d16a3203a98b9a1bd8da61315181db431b4a7ea1394b614e}), underarm (10{fc1509ea675b3874d16a3203a98b9a1bd8da61315181db431b4a7ea1394b614e}) or rectal (3{fc1509ea675b3874d16a3203a98b9a1bd8da61315181db431b4a7ea1394b614e}) 4{fc1509ea675b3874d16a3203a98b9a1bd8da61315181db431b4a7ea1394b614e} assess a achievable fever by emotion if their child is warm to the touch. Dad and mom of little ones -3 years are a lot more likely to acquire an underarm or rectal temperature. Most parents (72{fc1509ea675b3874d16a3203a98b9a1bd8da61315181db431b4a7ea1394b614e}) believe their approach gives a genuine evaluate of their child’s temperature, but this perception is bigger amongst parents who take the temperature rectally (90{fc1509ea675b3874d16a3203a98b9a1bd8da61315181db431b4a7ea1394b614e}) or by mouth (84{fc1509ea675b3874d16a3203a98b9a1bd8da61315181db431b4a7ea1394b614e}), and reduce between all those making use of ear scan (75{fc1509ea675b3874d16a3203a98b9a1bd8da61315181db431b4a7ea1394b614e}), brow scan (70{fc1509ea675b3874d16a3203a98b9a1bd8da61315181db431b4a7ea1394b614e}) or underarm (60{fc1509ea675b3874d16a3203a98b9a1bd8da61315181db431b4a7ea1394b614e}). Only 56{fc1509ea675b3874d16a3203a98b9a1bd8da61315181db431b4a7ea1394b614e} come to feel really confident they fully grasp how temperature readings can modify in accordance to the approach used.

Two-thirds of mother and father (65{fc1509ea675b3874d16a3203a98b9a1bd8da61315181db431b4a7ea1394b614e}) charge on their own as extremely confident in their capacity to know whether their kid wants medication to minimize fever. However, dad and mom report distinct thresholds for the temperature at which they would give fever-decreasing treatment to their youngster: 35{fc1509ea675b3874d16a3203a98b9a1bd8da61315181db431b4a7ea1394b614e} say under 100.4° 50{fc1509ea675b3874d16a3203a98b9a1bd8da61315181db431b4a7ea1394b614e} between 100.4° and 101.9° and 15{fc1509ea675b3874d16a3203a98b9a1bd8da61315181db431b4a7ea1394b614e} at 102.0° or higher. Two-thirds of mom and dad (67{fc1509ea675b3874d16a3203a98b9a1bd8da61315181db431b4a7ea1394b614e}) say they choose to check out other solutions like a interesting washcloth just before employing fever-minimizing medication.

When supplying their youngster fever-lessening medication, 65{fc1509ea675b3874d16a3203a98b9a1bd8da61315181db431b4a7ea1394b614e} of parents say they constantly or normally record the time of each individual dose, and 84{fc1509ea675b3874d16a3203a98b9a1bd8da61315181db431b4a7ea1394b614e} often or normally re-just take their child’s temperature prior to supplying yet another dose. Mother and father of youngsters -3 years are far more probable to history the time and re-get the temperature. 1-quarter of mom and dad (26{fc1509ea675b3874d16a3203a98b9a1bd8da61315181db431b4a7ea1394b614e}) say they usually or ordinarily give another dose of treatment to stop the fever from returning.

Parent practices when giving their children fever-reducing medication: 84{fc1509ea675b3874d16a3203a98b9a1bd8da61315181db431b4a7ea1394b614e} re-take temperature before giving another dose. 65{fc1509ea675b3874d16a3203a98b9a1bd8da61315181db431b4a7ea1394b614e} record the time of each dose. 26{fc1509ea675b3874d16a3203a98b9a1bd8da61315181db431b4a7ea1394b614e} give another dose to prevent a return fever. Source: C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health, 2023.

Table of Contents


  • 9 in 10 mom and dad agree that operating a small-quality fever assists a child’s human body combat off infection.
  • 2 in 3 mothers and fathers are really self-confident they know irrespective of whether their boy or girl demands treatment to decrease fever.
  • 1 in 3 dad and mom would give fever-minimizing medication for elevated temperature below 100.4°.


Fever is a sign that the baby has an sickness and the body is attempting to combat off the bring about. When mom and dad suspect their youngster may well have a fever, their very first final decision is whether or not to take the child’s temperature. Some moms and dads do this at the to start with indication of any difficulties, while other people opt for to observe their boy or girl, and very likely contemplate other aspects these as irrespective of whether the boy or girl has supplemental indications of disease.

There are various choices for getting a child’s temperature, like the sort of product and where by the device is positioned. Speak to thermometers use electronic heat sensors to record physique temperature and can be placed in the mouth, beneath the arm, or in the rectum. For infants and younger small children, rectal temperatures are most precise. The moment youngsters are equipped to hold a thermometer in their shut mouth, oral temperatures also are correct. Armpit temperatures are the the very least accurate method.

Remote thermometers use an infrared scanner to measure the temperature at the forehead or within the ear canal. Their accuracy varies by manufacturer, how very well they are calibrated, and if they are employed the right way they are not advised for newborns. With brow scanning, the looking at might be inaccurate if the scanner is held much too far absent or if the child’s brow is sweaty. With ear thermometers, earwax can interfere with the looking at. Regardless of the machine made use of, it is crucial for dad and mom to critique the directions to guarantee the system is appropriate for the child’s age and that the gadget is placed accurately when measuring temperature.

An vital decision for mom and dad is whether to give fever-lowering drugs. Although youngster health authorities normally define fever as a temperature at or over 100.4°F, one-3rd of parents in this Mott Poll indicated that they would give fever-decreasing treatment even at temperatures underneath this threshold. If the youngster is otherwise performing properly, this amount of elevated temperature does not require fever-minimizing treatment.

When choosing no matter if to give fever-lessening remedies, parents should really look at that decreasing a child’s temperature does not cure their health issues more quickly the primary benefit is to help decrease their irritation. Most dad and mom in this poll feel that allowing their youngster to run a very low-quality fever is practical in battling off an infection this is dependable with research showing that at enhanced temperatures our immune cells are extra productive at destroying the viruses and microorganisms that induce infection. An alternative to treatment is to watch the temperature, though holding the child comfortable with non-medicine strategies, this sort of as ensuring the kid is in mild clothes and encouraging them to stay well hydrated.

Numerous mothers and fathers wonder if they should really give their youngster fever-lessening medication prior to getting vaccines. Whilst this was a common observe in the previous, it is not now advised owing to issues that it might minimize the usefulness of vaccines. Fever in the times soon after vaccination is a indicator that the child’s immune procedure is responding to the vaccine. As very long as the child is comfortable, fever-reducing treatment is not needed.

When mothers and fathers pick out to give fever-lessening treatment, it is helpful to continue to keep a log of temperature readings and when the medicine was specified this will present an precise file. Mom and dad really should keep away from applying blend (“multi-symptom”) cold drugs together with fever-cutting down medications due to the chance of above dosage. In addition, mother and father must not give aspirin to lower fever.

Dad and mom also will have to make a decision no matter whether to contact the child’s medical professional. For youngsters -3 months, any fever need to prompt a get in touch with to the service provider. For small children 4-12 months, mom and dad need to call if a fever is accompanied by signs these kinds of as reduced exercise, greater fussiness, or decreased urine output. A fever that reaches 104° or continues to be for an extended interval (extra than 24 hrs for children underneath 2 decades of age, or more than 3 times for little ones 2 years of age or more mature) should really prompt get in touch with with the service provider, as really should symptoms like a stiff neck, problems swallowing/drooling, vomiting, or being extremely drowsy.