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Fever in Children (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care for Fever in a Child

Patient Comments

Call a child's doctor if any of the following are present with fever.

  • The child is younger than 6 months of age (regardless of prematurity).
  • One is unable to control the fever.
  • One suspects a child may become dehydrated from vomiting, diarrhea, or not drinking (for example, the child has sunken eyes, dry diapers, tented skin, cannot be roused, etc.).
  • The child has been to a doctor but is now getting worse or new symptoms or signs have developed.

Although you may have done your best to care for your child, sometimes it is smart to take your child to the emergency department. The child's doctor may meet you there, or the child may be evaluated and treated by the emergency doctor.

Take a child to an emergency clinic when any of the following happen:

  • One has serious concerns and is unable to contact the child's doctor.
  • One suspects the child is dehydrated.
  • A seizure occurs.
  • The child has a purple or red rash.
  • A change in consciousness occurs.
  • The child's breathing is shallow, rapid, or difficult.
  • The child is younger than 2 months of age.
  • The child has a headache that will not go away.
  • The child continues to vomit.
  • The child has complex medical problems or takes prescription medications on a chronic basis (for example, medications prescribed for more than two weeks' duration).
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/22/2015

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Fever in Children:

Fever in Children - Treatment

What treatment was effective for your child's fever?

Fever in Children - Seeking Medical Care

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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 »


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