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Fever or Chills, Age 11 and Younger - Topic Overview

It is not unusual for a preschool-aged child to have 7 to 10 viral infections in a year. Each new viral infection may cause a fever. It may seem that a fever is ongoing, but if 48 hours pass between fevers, then the new fever is most likely from a new illness.

Common causes of fever include:

Teething does not cause a fever. If a baby is teething and has a fever, look for other symptoms that may need to be evaluated.

A fever that increases quickly may lead to a fever seizure in some children. After a fever has reached a high temperature, the risk of a seizure is less. Fever seizures can be frightening to see, but they usually do not cause other problems, such as brain damage, intellectual disability, or learning problems. If your child has a high fever and a seizure, see the topic Fever Seizures.

An abnormally low body temperature (hypothermia) can be serious, even life-threatening. Low body temperature may occur from cold exposure, shock, alcohol or drug use, or certain metabolic disorders, such as diabetes or hypothyroidism. A low body temperature may also be present with an infection, particularly in newborns, older adults, or people who are frail. An overwhelming infection, such as sepsis, may also cause an abnormally low body temperature.

Check your child's symptoms to decide if and when your child should see a doctor.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 13, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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