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A fever is a way for the body to fight infection. But it may also be a sign of a serious illness, especially in children younger than 3 months and children who haven't been immunized. Know when to seek medical care for your child.
Get medical attention right away if any of the following occur with a fever:
Severe headache or stomachache
Constant vomiting or diarrhea
Crying or bad temper you can't soothe
A doctor will ask about your child's medical history and perform a physical exam. Your child may also have x-rays and blood or urine tests. Treatment will depend on the cause of the fever. Bed rest and fluids are best for a virus. A bacterial infection may need antibiotics. Your doctor may also prescribe a non-aspirin pain reliever such as acetaminophen. This can help reduce a fever and make your child more comfortable.
Provide plenty of fluids. Water is best, but juice and frozen pops also help.
Cover your child lightly.
Check with your doctor before giving your child any medication.
Call your child's doctor if:
An infant younger than 3 months has a rectal temperature of 100.4°F (38.0ºC) or higher.
A child 3 to 36 months has a rectal temperature of 102°F (39.0ºC) or higher.
A child of any age has a temperature of 103°F (39.4ºC) or higher.
A fever lasts more than 24 hours in a child younger than 2 years or for 3 days in a child 2 years or older.
Do not give aspirin to children or teenagers with a fever without talking to your doctor first. Aspirin has been associated with Reye's syndrome, a rare but serious illness.