Fever is the immune system’s natural response to fight infections, but can also be caused by heat exhaustion, severe sunburn, and some immunizations. Signs of fever include sweating, shivering, headache, muscle aches and weakness, loss of appetite, and dehydration. Very high fevers can lead to confusion, hallucinations, and convulsions. If your child has these fever symptoms, seek medical attention right away, give him or her fluids to prevent dehydration, and use a thermometer to check his or her temperature. There are many different thermometers, including rectal (for infants), oral, ear, and even forehead thermometers. Though oral thermometers can be used under the child’s arm, this method is not considered to be as accurate. Whatever method you choose, be sure to follow the directions for your thermometer to avoid injury and to get an accurate reading. If your child does have a fever, that alone is not cause for alarm. See the guidelines below to help you determine whether your child needs medical care for a fever.
See a doctor if:
- Your baby is younger than three months and has a rectal temperature of 100.4°F or higher
- Your baby is older than three months and has a temperature of 102°F or higher
- Your child is under age two and has a fever that lasts more than a day
- Your child is two years or older and has a fever that lasts more than three days
Seek immediate medical help if your baby or child has:
- A fever after being left in a hot carA severe headache or sore throat
- Abnormal rash or sensitivity to light
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Mental confusion
- Repeated vomiting
- Difficulty breathing
- Unusual listlessness or irritability
- Any unexplained symptoms
St. Luke’s Resources:
St. Luke’s offers several convenient care options for minor medical emergencies and illnesses, including:
- Eight Urgent Care Center locations – Find one near you.
- St. Luke’s Convenient Care, a walk-in clinic located inside Dierbergs Des Peres that offers care for minor illnesses and injuries and immunizations to patients ages 2 years and up. Learn more.
- St. Luke’s Quick Care for Kids (located at St. Luke’s Hospital) – After hours pediatric care (when you pediatrician’s office is closed or a sick visit appointment is not available) for minor ailments and illnesses for any child under the age of 18, including infants. Learn more.
- For help finding a pediatrician or primary care physician for your child or family, call St. Luke’s Hospital Physician Referral Service at 314-205-6060 or search the online physician directory at stlukes-stl.com.
St. Luke’s Hospital is an independent, nonprofit healthcare provider committed to improving the quality of life for its patients and the community. In its 150-year history, St. Luke’s has grown from a single hospital location to an advanced network of care. It provides personalized healthcare services in over 60 specialty areas at its 493-bed hospital in Chesterfield, Missouri, and offers 25 other locations across the greater St. Louis area, bringing quality healthcare services close to home. St. Luke’s is nationally-recognized for quality care and consistently earns high patient satisfaction scores. In addition, St. Luke’s is the exclusive St. Louis affiliate of the nation’s No. 1 heart hospital, Cleveland Clinic’s Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute. For more information, visit stlukes-stl.com.
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