What Is a Pediatric High Fever?
A fever doesn’t always mean your child is seriously ill, but it’s important to be aware of symptoms accompanying fevers that could indicate a health condition or illness. A fever occurs when the body’s immune system is fighting off a germ, virus, or bacteria. High pediatric fevers or fevers that don’t go away may be a warning sign of an underlying illness. At Lonestar 24-Hour Emergency Room, our team of experienced physicians can determine the cause of pediatric fever in your child. If you notice any pediatric fever red flags or if pediatric fever medication is ineffective, visit us immediately. We have the tools and experience needed to swiftly treat pediatric fevers in New Braunfels, TX.
What Are Common Causes of Pediatric Fever?
All children occasionally get fevers, and a fever isn’t always an emergency or a symptom of a life-threatening illness. It’s important to keep track of how long your child’s fever lasts, whether it is going up or down, and any accompanying symptoms that occur along with the fever. Our pediatric emergency room physicians can assess your child’s symptoms and determine the underlying cause of their fever. The most common causes of pediatric fever are:
- Upper respiratory tract infections
- Ear infections
- Illnesses like chickenpox, whooping cough, and colic
- Infections like meningitis, kidney, or urinary tract infections
- Certain medications
- Heat stroke or heat illness
- Blood transfusions
- Brain disorders
- Certain types of cancer
- Some autoimmune diseases
What Are the Pediatric Fever Temperature Ranges?
A pediatric high fever is a temperature between 102.2 and 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. If your child has a temperature lower than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit but displays other troublesome or worrying symptoms, you should still visit your pediatrician or our emergency room. Even a mild fever can be a sign of an illness when accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, fussiness, fatigue, loss of consciousness, rash, injury, or seizures.
Why Does a Pediatric Fever Occur?
Your child’s body has a few different ways of maintaining a normal body temperature. Their brain, skin, muscles, and blood vessels all work together to regulate their temperature. A fever occurs when the body’s immune system is fighting an infection or illness. The body sends hormones that increase your child’s temperature when it is fighting an infection. The body may cause increasing or decreasing sweat production, moving blood away from or closer to the surface of the skin, getting rid of or holding on to fluids in the body, or seeking a cooler or warmer environment. A pediatric high fever is not an illness or medical condition. It is a symptom or sign that your child’s body is fighting an illness or infection.
How Can I Tell if My Child Has a High Fever?
You can measure your child’s temperature with a no-touch forehead thermometer, an ear thermometer, or a rectal thermometer. If your child’s fever increases or doesn’t decrease in 24 hours, you should visit our emergency room right away. You should also be aware of pediatric fever red flags or symptoms that occur along with a pediatric high fever that could indicate a serious illness or infection. If your child has a pediatric fever or temperature over 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit accompanied by any of these symptoms, bring them in to see us right away:
- A stiff neck or trouble moving their neck or head.
- A rash that doesn’t fade when you press a glass against it.
- Light sensitivity or an aversion to light or avoidance of light.
- A fit or febrile seizure.
- Unusually cold hands or feet.
- Blue, pale, or blotchy skin, lips, or tongue.
- A weak, high-pitched cry that isn’t like their normal cry.
- Drowsiness or difficulty awakening or staying conscious.
- Agitation or inability to relax or settle.
- Confusion or disorientation.
- Loss of consciousness.
- Difficulty breathing, wheezing, or gasping for air.
- Dehydration or inability to keep food or fluids down.
- Not responding like they usually do.
- Not interested in food, play, or other normal activities.
- Complaints of pain or other discomfort.
- Has a high fever that has lasted for five days or more.
- Has other signs of illness.
- Has persistent vomiting or diarrhea.
If your child has any of these symptoms along with a fever, bring them in to see our pediatric fever emergency room physicians as soon as possible.
Are There Any At-Home Pediatric Fever Treatments?
If your child has a mild or moderate fever that makes them uncomfortable, they can take an over-the-counter pediatric fever medication like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Never give your child aspirin. You can also make your child more uncomfortable by using cold compresses, a lukewarm bath, and giving your child plenty of fluids like water, juice, Pedialyte, or popsicles. You should never give your child a cold bath or let them stay in the bathtub if they are shivering. You should also never leave your child unattended in the bath or use alcohol baths or ice baths. If your child’s fever doesn’t improve after these fever treatments, if it gets higher, or if your child develops additional symptoms, bring them to see us immediately.
Call or Visit Our Pediatric Fever Emergency Room Team
Call or visit our pediatric fever emergency room in New Braunfels, TX, today if your child has a high fever or a fever that won’t go away with medication. We can run diagnostic tests, assess your child’s other symptoms, and determine the underlying cause of their fever. Don’t risk your child’s health and safety. Visit us as soon as possible for pediatric fever treatment and evaluation.