Fever means a rectally measured body temperature of more than 101,3°F. In most cases this is a sign for a harmless virus infection which does not require further treatment.

A medical treatment to lower the fever usually is indicated when the fever raises above 102,2°F to 103,1°F. You can use antipyretics even earlier when your child feels very uncomfortable.

Fever in the newborn period and in the young baby

During the first weeks of life even slight increased body temperatures may indicate a presentation of your baby at the pediatrician. Paleness, groaning, weakness, sleepiness, diminished appetite or vomiting can be signs of a severe infection even without any fever and the pediatrician must be consulted immediately.

Further symptoms

You should be aware of additional symptoms.

If your child had been afflicted with a cold and coughed before the fever started you should pay attention to the breathing. Is the breathing difficult, wheezing or the cough painful and associated with belly pain your child should be examined. A bronchitis or pneumonia could require a special treatment.

Fever associated with headache and especially with a sore nec and stiffness of the nec (the head can not be nodded to the chest) is an emergency! Please consult your doctor immediately.

This symptoms can be signs for a meningitis. Vomiting in association with headaches also requires a consultation of the pediatrician.

Small skin bleedings during a fever episode are a symptom to be clarified at once. This petechia do not disappear if you press the skin (f.ex. using a glas) or if you tear the skin as we observe it in exanthema like f.ex. scarlatine fever.

Antipyretique measures

Cool windings of the lower legs, only if they are warm! (Put a moist cool towel around one lower leg for 15 minutes).
If the temperature raises above 104°F you can wash your child from the head to the feet with a cool wet towel.
The room should regularly be ventilated and your child should not be covered.
Be aware of a sufficient hydration.


Paracetamol (=Acetaminophen) is a an excellent tolerated medicament. The suppositories of 75 mg are can be given if the body weight is below 7,5 kg, suppositories of 125mg can be used up to 13 kg, for a higher body weight suppositories of 250 mg are recommended. 500mg can be given if the child is heavier than 23 kg. A liquid exists also. For children over 23 kg tablets are available. The daily dose of 50mg/kg body weight mustn’t be exceeded: f.ex. a child of 10kg can receive 125 mg Paracetamol 4 times in 24 hours.

Ibuprofen suppositories of  60 mg for babies between 6 and 9 kg. For a weight of more than 13 kg 125 mg suppositories can be given. The liquid can also be chosen if the body weight of your child is more than 6 kg. Ibuprofen has an antipyretic effect but also an analgesic one which is rather stronger than this effect of Paracetamol.

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