Font Size

Fever in Children (cont.)


The prognosis for a child with a fever is excellent.

  • Most illnesses that cause fever last three to seven days.
  • Sometimes, treatment of bacterial infections fails at home, and the child will need to be hospitalized.
  • Meningitis and bacterial blood infections have a much more serious prognosis than the far more common viral infections.

Medically reviewed by Margaret Walsh, MD; American Board of Pediatrics

Previous contributing author and editors: Author: Ron Fuerst, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of South Carolina College of Medicine; Director, Children's Emergency Center, Children's Hospital of Richland Memorial Hospital

Editors: Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM, Research Director, Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine; Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD, Senior Pharmacy Editor, eMedicine; James S Cohen, MD, Consulting Staff, James Cohen, PC REFERENCES:

Armon, K., T. Stephenson, R. MacFaul, P. Hemingway, U. Werneke, and S. Smith. "An Evidence and Consensus Based Guideline for the Management of a Child After a Seizure." Emerg Med J 20 (2003): 13-20.

Chiappini, E., N. Principi, R. Longhi, P.A. Tovo, P. Becherucci, F. Bonsignori, et al. "Management of Fever in Children: Summary of the Italian Pediatric Society Guidelines." Clin Ther 31 (2009): 1826-1843.

Ely, J.W.,  and M. Seabury Stone. "The Generalized Rash: Part II. Diagnostic Approach." Am Fam Physician 81 (2010): 735-739.

Goldstein, B., B. Giroir, and A. Randolph.  "International Pediatric Sepsis Consensus Conference: Definitions for Sepsis and Organ Dysfunction in Pediatrics." Pediatr Crit Care Med 6 (2005): 2-8.

Kimia, A.A., A.J. Capraro, D. Hummel, P. Johnston, and M.B. Harper. "Utility of Lumbar Puncture for First Smple Febrile Seizure Among Children 6 to 18 Months of Age." Pediatrics 123 (2009): 6-12.

Paulus, S., and S. Dobson. "Febrile Neutropenia in Children With Cancer." Adv Exp Med Biol 634 (2009): 185-204.

Pierce, C.A., and B. Voss. "Efficacy and Safety of Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen in Children and Adults: A Meta-analysis and Qualitative Review." Ann Pharmacother 44 (2010): 489-506.

Tolan Jr., R.W. "Fever of Unknown Origin: A Diagnostic Approach to This Vexing Problem." Clin Pediatr (Phila) 49 (2010): 207-213.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/21/2014

Must Read Articles Related to Fever in Children

Fever (in Adults)
Fever in Adults A fever is a body temperature of 100.4 F or greater. A fever may be caused by a virus, bacteria, fungus, blood clot, tumor, drug, or the environment. Treatment ...learn more >>
Skin Rashes in Children
Skin Rashes in Children Skin rashes in children may be categorized as bacterial, viral, life-threatening, fungal, and parasitic rashes. Oftentimes, the associated symptoms help establi...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Fever in Children:

Fever in Children - Treatment

What treatment was effective for your child's fever?

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Fever in the Young Infant »

This article addresses the often-challenging task of diagnosing and treating febrile illnesses in infants younger than 60 days and discusses appropriate testing, treatment, and disposition of these patients.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

Medical Dictionary