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1) What is a fever?
Fever = a temperature of 100.4°F (38°C).
Infants <2 months old should have their temperatures taken rectally for accuracy.
2) Are fevers dangerous?
For children >2 months old - no. A fever is the body’s way of fighting a viral or bacterial infection.
For infants <2 months old, fever can be sign of a serious infection and baby needs to be seen immediately at the Children’s ER.
3) How high is too high?
Height of the fever does not correspond with severity of the infection. How is your child acting? Are they drinking fluids, urinating normally, responding to you appropriately, and breathing comfortably? If not, they should be evaluated in a timely manner.
4) Does every fever need to be treated? Not necessarily! The main purpose of treating with medication is to make your child more comfortable. If they are behaving normally and running around - then no need to treat.
5) How long should a fever last?
For most viral illnesses we expect the fever to last 2-3 days. If the fever lasts longer than that, the child should be evaluated for a more significant infection.