Metropolitan Pediatric Group, Pediatricians, Teaneck & Closter, NJ, Bergen Co†
704 Palisade Avenue, Teaneck, NJ 07666 201-836-4301
570 Piermont Road, Closter, NJ 07624 201-768-8811
Fever is a normal response to inflammation and a defense against infection. It is a symptom, not a disease.
Like our own body temperatures, fever can fluctuate throughout the day and can range between 101F to 104F. The degree of fever does NOT necessarily correlate with the severity of the illness.
For infants under 6 weeks of age, a temperature of 100.4o F or greater is considered a fever. Since your newborn can not tell us what is bothering him or her, contact us right away if your newborn infant develops a fever. Certain tests are usually done at this young age to make sure the fever is not due to a serious infection (e.g. meningitis or a urinary tract infection).
Use a rectal thermometer when checking your infantís temperature.
As your child gets older, the degree of fever for which immediate medical intervention is necessary also increases.
For older children, ear thermometers frequently give inconsistent and elevated temperatures. Newer, infrared thermometers (Exergen) appear to be more accurate.
Call us if you have any concerns, especially if your child is having fever over 104o F, prolonged fever, or is very difficult to arouse.
In order to help reduce fever if your child is uncomfortable:
Give Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil). Read the labels closely. Please refer to our Dose Chart for proper dosing as well. Some over the counter medications already have Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen in them. Ibuprofen can only be given if your child is over 6 months old.
Remember, these medicines are fever reducers, not necessarily fever eliminators.
Temporarily alternating Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen every 3 hours may be helpful if your child has persistently high fevers and is uncomfortable. Studies trying to determine if alternating is more effective than using just one agent have yielded mixed results.
A warm water bath approximately 30 minutes after administering a fever medication may help bring down a fever without causing chills. Alcohol baths or placing ice packs in certain parts of the body are discouraged.
Encourage your child to drink extra fluids.