Shoham Medical Group
Pediatrician & Adolescent Medicine Physician located in San Fernando Valley, CA
When your child has a fever, it can be worrisome and cause for anxiety. Steven C. Shoham, MD, and his team at Shoham Medical, located in Granada Hills, California, help to ease your worries and treat the underlying cause of your child’s fever, if needed. For a same-day visit, call or schedule an appointment online.
Fever Q & A
What is a fever?
A fever is when the body’s internal temperature is higher than normal. The body regulates its own internal temperature and is constantly adjusting the systems of the body to maintain a temperature at or close to 98.6ºF.
The hypothalamus regulates the body’s temperature by sending and receiving chemical and messages to and from all over the body. This is to keep the environment at an optimal temperature for every system to function correctly.
A fever occurs when the hypothalamus increases the body’s internal temperature, in response to:
- Overdressing or too many blankets
Usually, treatment is not needed for fevers under 102ºF, unless a child feels or acts poorly. The exception to this rule is that any child younger than three months old should be seen in the emergency room if they have a rectal temperature over 100.4ºF.
How can I check for a fever?
Digital thermometers offer the most reliable, easy-to-read temperature readings. You can check the temperature by mouth, rectally, across the forehead, or under the arm. Your child may have a fever if their temperature is higher than:
- 100ºF orally (taken in the mouth)
- 100.4ºF rectally (taken in the bottom)
- 99ºF axillary (taken under the arm)
Often, you can tell a child has a fever by simply touching their forehead. They may also appear flushed or sleepy, or have chills, rapid breathing, or other symptoms of an illness.
When is a fever a cause for concern?
For children under the age of three months old, a fever is always a cause for concern and needs immediate evaluation. For children who are older than three months, a fever of 102.2ºF or higher may or may not be a cause for worry.
Usually, you do not need to be concerned about a fever if your child plays and acts normally, eats and drinks well, and is alert and awake. You should see your pediatrician if your child:
- Refuses to eat or drink
- Has diarrhea or vomiting
- Is not peeing normally
- Has other symptoms of illness
- Is lethargic, crying constantly, or extremely irritable
- Has fever longer than 24 hours, for children under two years old
- Has fever longer than 72 hours, for children over two years old
The pediatricians at Shoham Medical offer same-day appointments for when your child’s fever is causing you concern.
For an expert evaluation of your child’s fever, call or book an appointment online with Shoham Medical.