Infant Fever: When To Worry

If you read my post yesterday, you know we have all been sick around here. My two little angels had a rough week, and so did their very worried mama. I was pretty confident in dealing with my toddler being sick, but my three month old was a different story. I was a wreck.

His fever spiked at 103.5 at which point he was not himself, his eyes were bouncy and we were scared. Our doctor, and urgent care was amazing though. We had already done blood work and urine samples at the doctor that day to be sure he was okay. But when his fever spiked, we called after hours and they talked us through getting his temp down with out bringing him in. We were able to get him back down a few degrees and his behavior returned to normal with Tylenol.

We also learned a few helpful facts when dealing with a fever in infants and kids.

When I was a kid I remember my parents waking me because my fever got too high, and they stuck me in the tub. TORTURE! I was very young, and I can remember it like yesterday. I also recall my dad saying a fever over 104 causes brain damage. Well folks, those are old wives tales! We learned that most fevers range from 101 to 104, and a fever causes no permanent harm until it reaches 107. Sponging (or soaking your kid in a luke warm bath) is not necessary either. It is only needed in emergencies, such as heatstroke , delirium or seizure.

If a fever is over 104 after given Tylenol or Ibuprofen then sponging is appropriate and more effective than a bath.

A fever is the body’s way of protecting itself and help fight infection. A child may even have a febrile seizure, which stops within five minutes and causes no permanent harm. Though I am sure it is scary to watch. The important thing is how sick your child acts. If they are not themselves, such as in the case of my baby’s eyes bobbing around and appearing glassy, then it is cause for concern. But in most cases, medication can help bring it down and your child’s behavior will return appropriately. If not, then it is time to seek medical attention.

Of course you should always go to the doctor within 24 hours if:

  • the child is 3 to 6 months old
  • the fever is between 104 and 105
  • the child has had a fever more than 24 hours
  • If the fever went away for 24 hours and then returned
  • or you are just concerned (like me!!!)

Always call immediately if:

  • the child is less than three months old
  • the fever is over 105
  • the child looks or acts very sick

It is a scary thing being a parent, I tell you I lost some years this week, but gaining as much information as possible and staying calm is key. Learning this info helped me stay rational and though I was very concerned at having a sick three month old, I was able to remain rational and level headed.

Glad this week is over and my little guy is on the mend! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!