For Children 4 Months Old or Older Who Have Been Immunized
1. Take Temperature
Rectal. For a child under 4 or 5 months, use a rectal thermometer to get an accurate reading. A child has a fever if the rectal temperature is above 100.4 F.
Oral. For a child over 4 or 5 months, you can use an oral or pacifier thermometer. The child has a fever if it registers above 100.4 F.
Ear. If the child is 6 months old or older, you can use an ear or temporal artery thermometer, but this may not be as accurate. Still, under most circumstances, it's a reasonable way to get a good enough estimate. If it's essential that you get an accurate reading, take a rectal temperature.
Armpit. If you take the child’s temperature in the armpit, a reading above 100.4 F usually indicates a fever.
2. If Temperature Is Below 102 Degrees F
You don't need to treat the fever unless the child is uncomfortable.
Make sure the child gets plenty of fluids and rest.
3. If Temperature Is Above 102 Degrees F but Below 105 Degrees
You can give child-formula acetaminophen (Tylenol). Ask your pediatrician before giving any fever-reducing medicine to a child for the first time.
Bathing or sponging the child with lukewarm water may help bring down the temperature. Do not use cold water, ice baths, or alcohol.
Do not give aspirin to a child under 18 years of age because of the risk of Reye's syndrome, a dangerous brain disease.
Call your pediatrician to see if you need to bring your child in to see the doctor.
4. Follow Up
A child should not return to school or day care until the child is fever free fo at least 24 hours.
Call your pediatrician if the fever lasts for more than two days, gets higher, or you are concerned.