Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Evaluation taking temperatures Treatment Home Care medications vomiting warning signs Underlying Cause Types

Fever in Children Overview

What is a fever in children?
A child with a fever has an abnormally elevated body temperature over 100.4 degrees F (38 C). Fever can be caused by a variety of conditions. In most cases, it is due to a viral or bacterial infection. The evaluation of fever varies with the age and general health of the patient. Fever is a more worrisome symptom in the patient with a poorly functioning immune system. Younger children with a high fever should be managed with special consideration.

What are the symptoms of a fever in children?
Symptoms of a fever in a child depend on the underlying cause for the fever. Common symptoms include excessive sweating, chills, and headache. Other symptoms include body aches, muscle aches, weakness, fatigue, cough, sore throat, rash, and sinus congestion.

How does the doctor treat a fever in children?
Treatment for a fever in a child depends on the underlying cause. Treatment may include rest, encourage fluids, and acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for fever control. Other treatment measures include antibiotics and antiviral medications.

Continue to Fever in Children Evaluation

Last Updated: Feb 8, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Fever in Children References
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  8. Russell FM, Shann F, Curtis N, Mulholland K. Evidence on the use of paracetamol in febrile children. Bull World Health Organ. 2003;81(5):367-72. [12856055]
  9. Tolia J, Smith LG. Fever of unknown origin: historical and physical clues to making the diagnosis. Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2007 Dec;21(4):917-36, viii. [18061082]
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