20611 Watertown Road Waukesha, WI 53186
Monday - Thursday 8am-5pm
Evening Appointments available as late 6:45pm
Same Day Sick Appointments
Available Sat. Mornings
Fever Facts and Treatment for Fever
Common Child Illness: Fever
Definition of Fever
Fever is a temperature over 100.4°F (38°C) rectally or 100°F (37.50°C) orally.
- Fever is not a disease, but a symptom that tells us the child is fighting against a disease or infection, usually a virus or bacteria.
- Fever, by itself, is not harmful and does not cause brain damage.
- Fever is a natural and beneficial body mechanism to help fight against disease.
- Fever is temperature over 100.4°F. The highest a fever will go is 106-107°F; at that point automatic mechanisms in the brain limit the temperature rise, except in rare instances.
- The height of the fever does not necessarily correlate with the severity of the disease. How sick your child looks is more important than the level of fever. If your child is active and intermittently playful, in spite of having fever, chances are your child has a self limited viral illness.
- The vast majority of fevers in infants and children are caused by viral illnesses which cannot be “cured” by antibiotics, and which will resolve with natural body defense mechanisms.
Treatment of Fever
*Remember, the goal of fever treatment is not to bring the temperature down to normal, but merely to make the child more comfortable.
- Acetaminophen or ibuprofen in appropriate doses for weight every 4- 6 hours (see dosage chart) for temperature over 101.5°F rectally. There is no reason to treat fever less than 101.5°F unless your child seems uncomfortable. Aspirin is not recommended for children with flu-like illnesses.
- Light clothing is recommended. Do not bundle or wrap your child in a blanket.
- Encourage lots of fluids to prevent dehydration. Pedialyte or pediatric electrolyte solution, juice, popsicles, and sherbet work well.
- If the fever is over 100.4°F, one hour after acetaminophen has been given, then you may sponge your child for 15 - 20 minutes in lukewarm water. Do not use alcohol.
- Do not awaken child for temperature taking or fever medicine; sleep is more important than either.
When to Call the Office for an Appointment
- If the temperature goes over 104.5°F.
- If the fever lasts more than 24 - 36 hours without obvious cause such as “cold” or “flu”.
- The fever lasts more than 72 hours, even with a cause such as “cold” or “flu”.
- Your baby is less than 3 months old with any fever.
- If a serious symptom develops, like seizure, stiff neck, purple rash, difficulty breathing, or any other serious symptom that concerns you.
- If your child is acting very ill: not interested in eating or drinking; not interested in toys or other objects.
- The fever goes away for 24 hours and then returns.
Children’s Tylenol (acetaminophen) every 4 hours as needed, do not exceed 6 doses per 24 hours.
(Usually go by weight)
160 mg/5 ml = 1 tsp
80 mg = 1 tab
|Chewable – Jr.
160 mg = 1 tab
|0-3 mo||6-11 lbs.
||40mg / 1.25ml / ¼ tsp
|4-11 mo||12-17 lbs.
||80mg / 2.50ml / ½ tsp
|12-23 mo||18-23 lbs.
||120mg / 3.75ml / ¾ tsp
||120mg / 1 ½ tab
|2-3 yrs||24-35 lbs.||160mg / 5ml / 1 tsp.
||160 mg / 1 tab
||160 mg / 1 tab
|4-5 yrs||36-47 lbs.
||240mg / 7.5 ml / 1 ½ tsp||240mg / 3 tabs
||240 mg / 1 ½ tabs
|6-8 yrs||48-59 lbs.
||320mg / 10ml / 2 tsp
||320mg / 4 tabs
||320 mg / 2 tabs
|9-10 yrs||60-71 lbs.
||400mg / 12.5ml / 2 ½ tsp
||400mg / 5 tabs
||400 mg / 2 ½ tabs|
|11 yrs||72-95 lbs.
||480 mg / 15ml / 3 tsp
||480mg / 6 tabs
||480 mg / 3 tabs
Children's Mortrin (ibuprofen) every 6-8 hours as needed, do not exceed 4 doses per 24 hours.
(Usually go by weight)
100 mg / 5 ml = 1 tsp
|0-6 mo||NOT RECOMMENDED|
|6-11 mo||13-17 lbs.||50mg / 2.50 ml / ½ tsp|
|12-23 mo||18-23 lbs.||75mg / 3.75 ml / ¾ tsp|
|2-3 yrs||24-35 lbs.||100mg / 5 ml / 1 tsp|
|4-5 yrs||36-47 lbs.||150mg / 7.50ml / 1 ½ tsp|
|6-8 yrs||48-59 lbs.||200mg / 10ml / 2 tsp|
|9-10 yrs||60-71 lbs.||250mg / 12.5ml / 2 ½ tsp|
|11-12 yrs||72-95 lbs.||300mg / 15 ml / 3 tsp|
*DO NOT USE ASPIRIN if your child has chickenpox or the flu. Always use acetaminophen or ibuprofen in treating fevers.