First and foremost, it’s never wrong to take your child to the emergency room or an urgent care center if your parental instincts are telling you so. Always trust your gut and as former Emergency Room doctors, we are here for you.
If your child, 2 months and under, has a rectal temperature of 100.4 or greater, get your baby to an urgent care center or hospital. They will automatically get a comprehensive work-up and will more than likely spend the next two days in the hospital for observation.
If your child, 2 to 6 months has a temperature that reads the same, the child will receive a work-up as well; however, if the lab results are normal, the child can go home with close follow-up with their pediatrician in the morning.
If your child, 6 months and older has 100.4 or greater temperature, the work-up will depend on the child’s symptoms and how sick the child looks to an experienced provider. Don’t be surprised if we do a complete physical exam and determine it’s a virus which can cause fever then sends you home with no antibiotics. This is standard – and good medicine – because it decreases the chances of allergies, diarrhea, and antibiotic resistance in your child.
What to do
Worried parents often ask, “If my child’s fever skyrockets to 104, what should I do?” and we always reassure them that a relatively high fever in a small child is not harmful because raising the body’s temperature is its method of fighting off infections.
We advise taking antipyretics (Tylenol or Motrin), which knocks down the fever and keeps both the children and their parents happy. We usually advise parents to stick with Children’s Motrin because a dose lasts for eight hours.
When determining the proper dose of Children’s Tylenol or Children’s Motrin, be sure to administer the proper amount based on your child’s weight – not their age. Even a small amount under the required dosage based on weight will render the entire dose ineffective.
If you have any questions, please contact your pediatrician, or feel free to call or stop by any ZipClinic Urgent Care locations. Walk-ins always welcome.