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How To Treat A Fever

Common Remedies And Treatments For Fever

Adam Partridge, PA-C Profile Photo

Written by Adam Partridge, PA-C on June 1, 2021

From colds to the flu, plenty of different illnesses and infections can result in your little one popping a fever. If your child does come down with a fever, do not panic, as most of the time this symptom is fairly easily managed.

That said, there are certain situations where a fever is a sign that something more serious is going on and a doctor’s help is needed. This is your complete guide to treating fevers and how to recognize when it is time to seek medical attention.

The Lowdown on Fevers: Best Action Plans for Different Ages

The way that you should respond to your child’s fever depends on a few things, one of which is your child’s age. Fevers in young children need to be taken more seriously, whereas low-grade fevers in older children and adults are typically easily treated in the comfort of your own home.

Different age groups require different things when it comes to a fever.

Children Aged 0-3 Months

If your child is 3 months old or younger and has a fever that is at least 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, you should call your doctor right away.

Infants are highly susceptible to a wide variety of illnesses because their immune systems have yet to build up the kind of immunity that adults have, so you should never take risks or assume that their fever is nothing serious. Contact your pediatrician promptly to make sure any serious illness is treated appropriately -- even if the fever is your baby’s only symptom!

Children Between 3 and 6 Months Old

If your child is between 3 and 6 months old and has a fever up to but not exceeding 102 degrees Fahrenheit, you should encourage your little one to rest up.

Make sure they drink plenty of fluids as well to keep them well-hydrated, and if your baby starts to seem lethargic, more fussy than usual, or is clearly uncomfortable, get in touch with your pediatrician.

If your child is between 3 and 6 months old and has a fever that exceeds 102 degrees Fahrenheit, you should call your pediatrician promptly for a professional opinion. Depending on your child’s behavior and any other symptoms your child is experiencing, they may tell you to bring your baby in for an examination.

Children Between the Ages of 6 Months and 2 Years

If your child is between 6 months and 2 years of age and their fever is above 102 degrees Fahrenheit, give your child acetaminophen, which acts as a fever-reducing agent.

Genexa’s Kids’ Pain & Fever acetaminophen oral suspension medication is made with the same active ingredient as Tylenol but is free of all those other artificial inactive ingredients. Instead, this medicine is flavored with real blueberries for a cleaner way to ease your little one’s symptoms.

Genexa is the first clean medicine brand, meaning they offer medicines that have the active ingredients you need without the artificial inactive ingredients you don’t need or want to give to your kids. Genexa is committed to revolutionizing the world of medicine, and this is why any inactive ingredients you find in their products are non-GMO, gluten-free, and certified vegan.

Genexa was founded by two dads who know the struggles that come with being a parent, and they know what it is like to want only the safest and most effective options for your children. They make real, clean medicine that you can trust so you can rest assured that your children are getting the treatment they deserve!

With this product, and any medicine, it is important to consult your pediatrician for guidance when it comes to the proper dosage for your child, but this medicine does provide a chart to help you find the right amount of medicine to give to your child based on their weight or age.

If your baby’s fever does not respond to the medicine or lasts longer than one day, get back in touch with your doctor! This is sometimes an indication that your child is sick with something more serious, so don’t waste any time. When it comes to your child’s health, it never hurts to play it safe.

Children Between 2 and 17 Years Old

If your child’s fever is up to but not exceeding 102 degrees Fahrenheit, make sure they get plenty of rest and up their fluid intake. Medication is not needed if their fever is not above 102 degrees, but you should contact a doctor if your child begins to act lethargic, more irritable than usual, or is visibly uncomfortable because of their symptoms.

If their fever does exceed 102 degrees Fahrenheit and your child seems uncomfortable, give them acetaminophen by carefully checking the label for the proper dosage. If the fever does not respond to the medicine or lasts for more than three days, call your doctor.

18 Years and Older

For anyone 18 years and older, a fever can be treated with plenty of rest and fluids, and acetaminophen if the symptoms are causing discomfort. Any fever that does not respond to medication is a sign that you need to consult a doctor for further treatment and guidance. Additionally, you should call a doctor if the fever is consistently 103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher or if it lasts for more than three days.

Home Remedies for a Fever

In any event, there are a few home remedies you can try if your kiddo’s symptoms are manageable at home or if you cannot get to the doctor right away.

Home remedies include:

  • Keeping your child’s room, and your home in general, nice and cool
  • Making sure to dress your child in light, breezy clothing
  • Making sure your child drinks plenty of fluids
  • Keeping a fan close to your child to keep the air moving if things are starting to feel stuffy and warm
  • Making sure your child does not run around or exert themselves
  • Keeping your child away from other children or vulnerable people, especially if your child has symptoms of a highly contagious illness or disease
  • Sponging your child in a shallow bath of lukewarm water

When To Call a Doctor for Accompanying Symptoms

Sometimes, your child may wind up with a fever alongside some other unpleasant symptoms, and sometimes these symptoms will be no big deal. Other times, though, a fever that is accompanied by certain symptoms is an indication that medical attention is needed and you should consult your doctor or pediatrician.

You should call a doctor if your child:

  • Has a fever after being in an extremely hot environment like an overheated car
  • Has a stiff neck
  • Has a severe headache, sore throat, or stomachache
  • Has an unexplained rash
  • Is repeatedly vomiting or having diarrhea
  • Suffers from a condition that leaves them immunocompromised
  • Has had a seizure
  • Has a dry and sticky mouth, sunken eyes, or infrequent urination, which are signs of dehydration
  • Is less than 2 months old and has a fever exceeding 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Is difficult to wake up, is acting more fussy than usual, or looks very sick

If these symptoms appear alongside your little one’s fever, it is time to consult a doctor and stop any serious illness in its tracks. Most times, a fever will not be anything to worry about, so don’t let this list terrify you.

Just keep in mind that there is a whole host of illnesses that can cause a fever, and some of these require prescription medication. Getting in touch with a doctor can help you get on the right treatment path more quickly so that your child will feel better in no time!

The Bottom Line

When your child comes down with a fever, there are a variety of things you can do. Depending on how old your child is and how high their temperature rises, you might be able to treat the symptoms in the comfort of your own home, or it may be necessary to consult a doctor and bring your child in for an examination.

Home remedies for a fever include sponging, getting plenty of rest, drinking lots of fluids, and using acetaminophen when necessary. If the fever does not respond to medication, it is important to consult a doctor.

Most times, a fever will not be anything to worry about too much, but you should never assume that the cause is totally harmless. When in doubt, call your pediatrician and get a professional opinion so that you can help your child recover more quickly.