- If your baby is under 2 months old, a temperature over 100.4=a trip to the office and most likely the emergency room. Babies this young are at increased risk for urine, blood or brain infections so these things need to be ruled out. That said, even with the higher risk most of the time it is just a virus.
- Taking the temperature rectally is the most accurate. But if your little one is not so little anymore, a forehead thermometer is a good second choice. If you use the armpit method you can add a degree for a more accurate reading. Make sure the room isn’t too cold if you’re using an ear thermometer, and you haven’t just given a cold drink if you are using the oral thermometer.
- For babies over 6 months, the number itself doesn’t matter as much as how your child looks. I would be much more worried about a child with a temperature of 100 who looks awful than a child with a temperature of 104 who is running around playing.
- We like to see children with fever because of what they represent (ear infection, urine infection, strep, virus, etc) not because the fever itself will be harmful to your child or their brain. I once had a patient with a temperature of 107 for a week! He was a-okay.
- Tylenol and Motrin will help bring the fever down and make your child feel better. You can alternate them every three hours (Tylenol at noon, Motrin at 3, Tylenol at 6, Motrin at 9, etc). Just make sure you give them the correct dose.
- Fluid, fluid, fluid. Keep ’em hydrated.
- With H1N1 the medicine is most effective within 24-48 hours from the start of the fever, so if you’re going to bring them in try to make it within that window.
Good luck! And, remember, if you’re worried we are always happy to see you and your sicklings.
Post-edit: The original post had an incorrect schedule for the Tylenol/Motrin dosing. This has been fixed.