When To Take Your Child To Urgent Medical Center For Fever

Mother checking temperature of her sick childThere are a few telltale signs parents can use to identify when their child needs urgent medical attention for fever.

Children get sick, it’s just what they do, meaning no parent is a stranger to fever, but how do you know when your child’s fever is serious enough to require medical attention? Fever is not an illness, but is instead a symptom of countless illnesses, some serious and some minor.

Fevers are most commonly caused by:

  • The cold or flu, chickenpox or other common infections or viruses frequently spread amongst children. 
  • Ear, throat or urinary tract infections. 
  • Immunizations may contribute to a low-grade fever if your child was recently vaccinated.

A child’s average body temperature is around 98.6 °F. A child’s temperature is usually a little bit higher in the afternoon than it is in the morning. A fever is any temperature that reads over 100.4 °F using a digital thermometer or temporal scanner. Children tend to run higher fevers than adults without it being as serious.

Is A Fever Of 100.4 °F Always Serious?

If your child feels warm take their temperature to get an exact reading. The most reliable thermometer is the digital thermometer, it is easy to use and can be applied to your child’s mouth, rectum, or under their armpit. For children 3-months or younger, the rectum is the best way to obtain an accurate reading. In children aged 4-months to 3-years, a rectal reading remains the most accurate but is not necessary.

Just because a child’s temperature reads 100.4 °F doesn’t mean they are sick at all. Your child’s temperature fluctuates considerably based upon exercise, taking a hot bath, or being exposed to hot weather.

Likewise, a higher temperature does not always mean a more serious illness. You know your child better than the thermometer, the way that they look and act determines the severity of their illness better than their temperature.

When Does My Child Need To Go To Urgent Care For A Fever?

Visit your local Urgent Medical Center right away if your child is three-years or older and experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing/ wheezing sounds
  • Deep cough that produces a good deal of mucus.
  • Signs of dehydration
  • Consistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Stiff neck
  • Headache
  • Severe pain in the ears
  • Painful, inflamed joints
  • Painful urination, foul smelling urine
  • Lethargic, confused, lack of any energy at all
  • Symptoms are not improving

If your child’s fever and accompanying symptoms are not completely gone within 5-days you need to visit your local Urgent Medical Center as soon as possible.

If you have a newborn or infant with a fever you need to go to your local emergency room.

When Is It Safe To Treat Your Child’s Fever At Home?

In most cases fevers can be treated at home and should go down within 48 to 72-hours.

Signs your child is likely okay with at-home treatment for fever:

  • They are still alert and able to communicate normally.
  • They have some appetite or are at least able to keep some food and/or liquids down.
  • If your child is improving as opposed to getting worse or staying exactly the same.

Older children with a fever are likely to complain of body aches, headaches, difficulty sleeping, or lack of appetite. These are all common accompanying symptoms to ailments that cause fever in the first place. If your child seems abnormally sick, that’s when it’s important to visit your local Urgent Care.

If you treat your child at home for fever you can rely on over-the-counter medications, rest and plenty of liquids. If your child does not show signs of improvement it’s time to visit a doctor.

Tips For At-Home Fever Treatment

If your child’s fever is not severe you will likely know by analyzing their other symptoms as well as how they are acting. If your child seems to be experiencing a mild illness you can use the following at-home tips to help them get better faster.

  • Make sure your child urinates once every 6-8 hours, otherwise they are very dehydrated. Get your child to drink as much water as possible when they are sick.
  • Keep the room at an average temperature, as opposed to too hot or too cold.
  • Do not wrap your child in blankets or overdress him or her.
  • Do not run ice cubes over a child with a fever.
  • If you want to give your child a bath be careful, keep the water at a tepid temperature, not too cold or hot. Only leave them in the water for 5 to 10 minutes before drying and immediately dressing.
  • Encourage your child to get as much rest as possible.

Visit Urgent Medical Center for fever in children, teens and adults. We are here to help you get to the bottom of the problem and make a speedy recovery!

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