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Medically reviewed by Drugs. Last updated on Sep 24, A fever is an increase in your body temperature. Normal body temperature is Fever is generally defined as greater than The cause of your fever may not be known. This is called fever of unknown origin. It occurs when you have a fever above The following are common causes of fever:. Your healthcare provider will ask when your fever began and how high it was. He or she will ask about other symptoms and examine you for signs of infection.

He or she will feel your neck for lumps and listen to your heart and lungs. Tell your provider if you recently had surgery or an infection. Tell him or her if you have any medical conditions, such as diabetes or arthritis. You may also need blood or urine tests to check for infection.

Fever in Infants & Children - Infant Fever Reducer |

Ask about other tests you may need if blood and urine tests do not explain the cause of your fever. Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances. The easiest way to lookup drug information, identify pills, check interactions and set up your own personal medication records. Available for Android and iOS devices.

Subscribe to Drugs. Inserted into the anus or rectum rectal temperature in babies and children under three years of age. Placed in the mouth oral temperature in older children able to hold the thermometer in their mouth long enough. Other methods of measuring temperature may sometimes be useful but less accurate. These methods include:. You should avoid using a thermometer on the forehead or pacifier thermometer to check a temperature because they are inaccurate. If your baby is less than three months old and has a fever, you need to see a doctor immediately.

For babies less than one month of age, fever may be a sign of a serious infection. If this happens on the weekend, do not wait to see your doctor; go to the nearest Emergency Department right away to have your baby assessed by a doctor. Do not give any fever medication to your baby unless a doctor says so. Keep your child lightly dressed. Most body heat is lost through the skin, so overdressing or bundling your child may result in a higher fever and can make your child more uncomfortable.

If your child is having chills or shivers, give them a light blanket. Keep the room temperature at a level that is comfortable for you, when lightly dressed. Fever will make your child's body lose some fluid liquid , so encourage your child to drink extra fluids to avoid dehydration. Whether you give your child cold or warm drinks does not matter.

However, cool water or drinks may help your child feel more comfortable. Sponging is unnecessary to help lower body temperature and may make your child more uncomfortable. Sponging may just cool the outside of your child's body and cause them to shiver without really affecting the internal body temperature. Only use sponging in an emergency, such as heat stroke. You should use medication to keep your child comfortable. You should not base your judgment on how high the fever but rather on how your child is feeling.

The Black Keys - Fever [Official Audio]

Fevers may also cycle up and down on their own, so it is difficult to tell whether a fever is reduced because of medication or because of the natural fever pattern. If your child is sleeping comfortably, it is not necessary to wake them up to give medications. Both drugs are available in tablets, capsules and liquid formulations of various strengths. Acetaminophen is also available as a rectal suppository.

Do not put a tablet intended for the mouth into a child's rectum. Your doctor or pharmacist can help you decide on the most appropriate formulation and dose for your child. The correct dose for a child is based on body weight. An estimated dose is usually provided on the medication package.

What is a fever?

Note that acetaminophen and ibuprofen have different doses and different lengths of time between doses. These drugs can make your child more comfortable, but they do not treat the underlying cause of the fever. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen do not interact with each other. They may be equally effective in lowering a temperature. Keep track of when you have given any medication. You should not routinely alternate between acetaminophen and ibuprofen. If your child has a pre-existing medical condition or is already taking other medicines, talk to your child's doctor to make sure that acetaminophen or ibuprofen is safe for your child.

Although rare, ASA acetylsalicylic acid or Aspirin has been linked to a severe condition called Reye's syndrome. Do not give ASA to a child to manage a fever unless your doctor has specifically told you to do so.

You may need to check the label of other medication or ask your pharmacist to make sure that they do not contain ASA. If you are unsure, call Telehealth Ontario at toll-free number if you live in Ontario. There are many myths about fever, and some of these myths may make you worry unnecessarily. If your child has a fever, the most important thing is how your child looks and acts. This is wrong!

The fever itself is not dangerous and does not need to be treated. Medication should be used to make your child more comfortable when they have a fever. If your child is comfortable with a fever either awake or sleeping you do not need to give them fever medication. That is wrong! The most important part of assessing a child with fever is how the child looks and acts, especially after treating the fever with medication.

For example a child who appears well but has a high temperature is less concerning than a child who only has a mild fever, but who appears quite unwell or unresponsive. Some minor viral illnesses may trigger high fevers; some serious bacterial infections may be associated with an abnormally low body temperature. These fevers do not cause brain damage. These body temperatures are more likely to occur with heat stroke or after exposure to certain street drugs or medications, such as anaesthetic or some psychiatric medicines.

They do not occur with the usual infections that children can have.

What is fever in infants and children?

A fever is just a sign that the body's immune system has been activated. Fevers help to fight infections because many germs do not survive as well at slightly higher body temperatures. The main reason to use medication is to make the child feel better. Sometimes a fever continues even after giving ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Antibiotics are only useful in treating bacterial infections. The antibiotic will start working to fight the bacteria as soon as your child takes it, but it may take two to three days before the fever goes away. Antibiotics have no effect on viral infections.

Since most infections in children are caused by viruses, an antibiotic will be of no use in these cases.

Treating the fever will not prevent febrile seizures and you should not use medications for this purpose. Richardson M, Purssell E. Who's afraid of fever?

Fever in adults

Arch Dis Child. Fever and antipyretic use in children. Retrieved February 10th, Mistry N, Hudak A. Combined and alternating acetaminophen and ibuprofen therapy for febrile children.

Symptoms of fever in infants and children

Feverish illness in children: assessment and initial management in children younger than 5 years 2nd ed. Sections 9. Skip to main content. Trusted answers from The Hospital for Sick Children.