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Tips on Treating Your Child's Fever continued...

Here's what doesn't work:

  • Don't use aspirin for a child's fever. It can cause a serious condition called Reye’s syndrome.
  • Avoid combination cold and flu remediesin young kids. They shouldn't be used in kids under age 4. In older kids, it’s unclear how well they work. If you decide to use cold medicine, read the label and pick the medicine that most closely matches the child’s symptoms.
  • Don't use an icy cold bath or rub your child's skin with alcohol. Either can actually drive a fever up.
  • Even if your child is feeling cold with the chills, don't bundle a sick child up with thick blankets or clothes.
  • Don't switch back and forth between medicines without your pediatrician's OK.


When Should You Call the Doctor?

Usually, you don't need to take your sick child to the doctor. But sometimes fever can be a serious warning sign. Call your pediatrician if your child:

  • Has a temperature of 104 F or higher
  • Is under 3 months old and has a temperature of 100.4 F or higher
  • Has a fever that last for more than 72 hours (or more than 24 hours if your child is under age 2)
  • Has a fever along with other symptoms such as a stiff neck, extremely sore throat, ear pain, rash, or severe headache
  • Has a seizure
  • Seems very sick, upset, or unresponsive