Symptoms and Signs of Fever in Children

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 10/22/2021

Doctor's Notes on Fever in Children

Fever is the presence of an abnormally high body temperature. Medically, a person is not considered to have a significant fever until the body temperature is above 100.4 F (38.0 C). Fever arises due to an immune response to infections with viruses, bacteria, or fungi. It can also occur as a response to certain drugs or toxins. Fever in children is a common symptom of most infections such a colds, gastroenteritis (“stomach flu”), influenza, and ear infections. In children, immunizations or teething┬ámay cause a short-term low-grade fever.

Common symptoms and signs associated with fever include:

Other symptoms and signs that accompany fever depend on the exact cause of the fever and can include:

What Is the Treatment for Fever in Children?

Treatment of fever in children depends on the source of the fever. If the cause is an infection, treatment can include:

  • antibiotics,
  • antifungal medications, or
  • in certain viral infections, antiviral medications.

A number of medications can be used to reduce fever and control pain. Examples include:

Aspirin should not be used for fever in children or adolescents because its use in children and adolescents during a viral illness has been associated with Reye's syndrome.


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.