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Body Temperature

What is fever??

Fever is the body’s normal response to infections and may be helpful in fighting them. The usual fevers that children get are not harmful until at least 107° is reached. The brain’s thermostat keeps nearly all untreated fevers below this level. All children will have fevers, but less than 4% will develop seizures. Do not worry about seizures, especially if your child has had a high fever without one.

Is fever bad?

Fever is the elevation of body temperature above 100.4°F. Fevers are defense mechanism used by the body to fight off illness while limiting germ growth. Fevers, even as high as 105, will NOT cause death or brain damage. If fevers persist more than three days, do not respond to medications, or are accompanied by other concerning symptoms, seek medical evaluation. We at Cornerstone Pediatrics, take time to educate our patients and families regarding fever.

How to measure temperature

  • axillary: axillary temperatures and temperature strips are not very accurate and should not be used to determine treatment or intervention

  • oral: (no recent hot/cold drinks) place tip underneath tongue on side for 3 minutes, keeping the mouth closed & breathing through nose.

  • rectal: lay child stomach down on your lap. Lubricate tip & opening of anus with petroleum jelly. Carefully insert tip into anus about 1 inch without force. Press buttocks together for 2 minutes.

  • Ear thermometer: use as directed

  • Electronic thermometer: use as directed

Call the office if…


less than one month old100.4° or higher

1 month old100.6° or higher

2 months old100.8° or higher

3 months to 2 yrs101° or higher

older than 2 yrs101° or higher & you are concerned

Also, call the office if your child has a fever over 105°, is inconsolable or whimpering, has a stiff neck, has purple spots on the skin, or has trouble breathing.

Other measures

Encourage extra fluids. Popsicles & cool drinks help replace body fluid lost to sweating. Keep clothing to a minimum, to allow heat loss through the skin. Discourage vigorous activities because they produce extra heat. Normal play is fine.

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