When your child is sick, the last thing you want to do is worry about a fever. Knowing when to take your child to their provider for a fever can help relieve symptoms before they become serious.
July 17, 2020
If your child wakes up in the middle of the night flushed, it’s easy to question what to do next. When should you take your child to their provider for a fever? How do you know if this is a sign of something more serious? Read on to learn what a fever is, what causes a fever and when you should call your provider.
Fevers occur when the hypothalamus raises the body’s temperature above its normal level. This internal “thermostat” knows what temperature your body should be — around 98.6°F/37°C — and will send messages to the body to keep it that way.
It is common for most people’s body temperatures to change during the day, though. Your temperature is generally lower in the morning and higher in the evening. It can also vary as children play, run around and exercise.
However, the hypothalamus will sometimes “reset” the body to a higher temperature in response to an illness, infection or some other cause. This is so the body can fight off harmful germs and bacteria, according to Medical News Today.
Parents should keep in mind that a fever by itself is not an illness. It’s often a sign or symptom of something else. Fevers may be caused by:
Keep in mind that teething may slightly raise the body’s temperature, but it is not likely the cause if a child’s temperature is higher than 100°F (37.8°C).
It’s important to remember that a fever isn’t necessarily bad; however, you should call your provider if:
When you call your provider, be prepared to answer questions like:
How long has your child had a fever? When did you last take their temperature? Do they have any other symptoms? This will help the provider determine the right course of treatment.