hypothalamus is in charge of regulating your body's temperature.
It determines what your normal body temperature should be.
During an infection your hypothalamus receives signals to
actually change its normal set point. This is why traditional
cooling efforts are ineffective.
contrast, hyperthermia due to heat exposure is an emergency
situation and would be treated differently than a fever.
is a very normal response to infection. In general, medication
is given primarily to help the child feel better. Contrary
to what you may have been taught, how high your child's fever
is and how it responds to medication is not a good indicator
of the severity of the illness.
can be treated with the use of medications such as Children's
Tylenol or Children's Motrin. It is imperative for you to
read the dosage instructions carefully and the time interval
required between doses. Many forms of Tylenol and Children's
Motrin are available and dosages vary accordingly. Some doctors
recommend rotating between Children's Motrin and Children's
Tylenol. Consult you doctor for any specific medication instructions.
should not be treated with cold baths or alcohol baths. Both
can be dangerous and are ineffective in reducing fever. Cooling
efforts such as wearing light clothing and reducing air temperature
may help provide comfort. These will however be more effective
if used after medication is given.
your child has been exposed to extreme temperatures such as
would occur from being left in a hot car or very strenuous
exercise, this is an emergency. Your doctor should be called
promptly or your child should be taken to an emergency room
and an ambulance called if necessary.
should I call my doctor?
your doctor immediately if:
child is younger than 3 months
child has a fever above 105°F
child looks or acts extremely ill
child has had a seizure
your doctor within 24 hours if:
child is 3-6 months old
child has a fever between 104° - 105°F
child has had a fever for more than 24 hours without an
child has had a fever for more than 3 days
child has accompanying symptoms that may indicate a bacterial
infection such as earache, stiff neck, headache, or sore