My Child Has A Fever- What Should I Do?

For a child with fever, look at your child, and if really ill, get your child seen, especially if lethargic, in pain, struggling to breath or suffering. What is a fever?  38.2 C or 100.4 F based on oral under the tongue temperature. After age 3 months, an axillary digital thermometer is best. For less than 2-3 months age, take a digital rectal temperature and if it’s a real fever, have your infant seen by a doctor. If your child is older than 2-3 months and looks good, this is not an emergency even at 104F / 40C. The most common cause of fever is a virus, like the common cold. If your child is super hot (104F or 39 – 40C), do a sponge bath with cool wet cloths, treat the fever (double check the dose) with ibuprofen for children over 6 months old, and acetaminophen for children under 6 months old. If you get your child’s fever down and they still look very ill – have them seen by the doctor. Dose sheets are available at

Dr Paul

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