Fever in Infants and Children | Symptoms

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When should I call my doctor?

If your child has any of the following warning signs, call your family doctor right away.

  • Constant vomiting or diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Earache or pulling at ears
  • Fever comes and goes over several days
  • High-pitched crying
  • Irritability
  • No appetite
  • Pale appearance
  • Seizures
  • Severe headache
  • Skin rash
  • Sore or swollen joints
  • Sore throat
  • Stiff neck
  • Stomach pain
  • Swelling of the soft spot on an infant’s head
  • Unresponsiveness or limpness
  • Wheezing or problems breathing
  • Whimpering

If your child is:

Younger than 3 months of age, call your doctor right away if your baby's rectal temperature is 100.4°F (38°C) or higher. Call your doctor even if your child doesn't seem sick. Babies this young can get very sick quickly.

Three months of age to 6 months of age, call your doctor if your baby has a temperature of 102°F (38.8°C) or higher, even if your baby doesn't seem sick.

Six months of age and older and has a fever of 102°F (38.8°C) to 102.9°F (39.4°C), watch how he or she acts. Call your doctor if the fever rises or lasts for more than 2 days.

Six months of age and older and has a fever of 103°F (39.4°C) or higher, call your doctor even if your child seems to feel fine.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 04/14
Created: 01/96

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Fever in Infants and Children

Overview

Symptoms

Treatment