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A fever is the body’s natural response to fighting an infection or illness. A person’s normal body temperature is set at around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, give or take a degree, depending on the person. However, temperatures can fluctuate as children play or run around, or at different parts of the day.

When is a fever too high?

The best guess for this is to go with your gut instinct. Parents should always listen to the voice inside them and seek the help of a doctor in any circumstance they are not sure about. Most experts agree that medical help should be sought if a child has a fever higher than 104 degrees Fahrenheit, or an infant 3 months or younger has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher. Fevers are almost always a sign of another underlying illness, especially high fevers, so it is recommended that you consult your pediatrician anytime your child has a fever. In rare cases, a quickly rising temperature may cause a febrile seizure. If this happens, consult your doctor.

Ways of taking a child’s temperature:

There are many different ways of taking your child’s temperature. Digital thermometers usually provide the quickest and most accurate readings. These are available at most supermarkets and pharmacies. Electronic ear thermometers are quick, accurate, and easy to use in older children, but are expensive and aren’t as accurate for younger children. Plastic strip thermometers are usually inaccurate for telling an exact temperature, although they will let you know whether or not your child has a fever. Pacifier thermometers are usually inaccurate, and therefore not suggested. Glass mercury thermometers should no longer be used because of possible exposure to mercury.

See also…

Febrile Seizures

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