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Fever in Children (cont.)

Medical Treatment for Fever in Children

A doctor may or may not be able to tell the exact cause of a child's fever.

  • Viral infections of the respiratory system are the most common cause of fever. Antibiotics do not cure or help with viral infections and increase the chance of drug reactions and potentially other problems.
    • If a doctor diagnoses a bacterial infection, the child will be started on antibiotics.
    • Children suspected to have bacterial meningitis are always admitted to the hospital.
  • Additionally, a doctor may recommend giving acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) for fever.
  • Dehydration may be treated by giving oral fluids or intravenous (IV) fluids.
    • If a child is vomiting, a drug to control nausea may be given by injection or by rectal suppository.
    • After a period of time, oral fluids will be attempted.
  • If the child's condition improves after reducing the fever, treating dehydration, and once serious bacterial infections have been ruled out, a doctor will likely discharge the child from the emergency department for further care and monitoring at home.

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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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