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When should I call the doctor about my newborn's fever?

ANSWER

If the baby’s temperature measured in the rectum is 100.4 F or higher, she has a fever. Fever in newborns may be due to a serious condition such as bacterial meningitis or sepsis, a bloodstream infection. Both can be life-threatening if they aren’t treated right away. Before you call, write down your child’s temperature and the exact time you took it.

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic: “Newborn Baby: When to Call the Doctor.”

March of Dimes: “When to Call Your Baby’s Provider.”

American Academy of Pediatrics: “Infant Constipation,” “Infant Vomiting,” “Rashes and Skin Conditions,” “Baby's First Days: Bowel Movements & Urination,” “Waking Up Is (Sometimes) Hard to Do.”

Mayo Clinic: “Common Cold in Babies,” “Umbilical Cord Care: Do's and Don'ts for Parents, “Infant Jaundice.”

Seattle Children’s Hospital: “Should Your Child See a Doctor? Fever,” “Should Your Child See a Doctor? Jaundiced Newborn.”

Stanford Children’s Health: “Breathing Problems.”

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on May 19, 2019

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic: “Newborn Baby: When to Call the Doctor.”

March of Dimes: “When to Call Your Baby’s Provider.”

American Academy of Pediatrics: “Infant Constipation,” “Infant Vomiting,” “Rashes and Skin Conditions,” “Baby's First Days: Bowel Movements & Urination,” “Waking Up Is (Sometimes) Hard to Do.”

Mayo Clinic: “Common Cold in Babies,” “Umbilical Cord Care: Do's and Don'ts for Parents, “Infant Jaundice.”

Seattle Children’s Hospital: “Should Your Child See a Doctor? Fever,” “Should Your Child See a Doctor? Jaundiced Newborn.”

Stanford Children’s Health: “Breathing Problems.”

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on May 19, 2019

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What if my newborn has yellowish skin or eyes?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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