If your newborn (60 days old or younger) has a fever of 101.4° F (38.0° C) or above, this could be a serious infection or problem. Your caregiver may suggest a series of tests. Based upon the results of those tests, the baby may need to be hospitalized. If your child ages 2 months through 2 years has a high temperature (greater than 102.9° F or 39.4°C), there may be a serious problem. Your caregiver will be able to find the source of the fever based on a careful exam. Blood, urine, and other tests (such as x-rays) may need to be done.

Home Care Instructions

  • Do not bundle your child up in heavy clothing or blankets. Use light clothing and bedding to help your child stay cool.
  • Give extra fluids (water, popsicles, and hydration solutions) to prevent dehydration. Your child should drink enough to urinate at their normal rate.
  • Use medication to help to relieve discomfort and keep the temperature down. Only give your child over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by their caregiver. Children should not be given aspirin for a fever because of the risk of complications.
  • Check your child’s temperature if he/she feels warm to touch. A rectal thermometer is most accurate. Be sure to shake the thermometer down before you use it. Wash it in cool soapy water to clean it.
  • If you are unable to control the fever) you can sponge or bathe your child in lukewarm water for 10-15 minutes.
  • Never use cold water or alcohol to sponge a feverish child. Make sure the water feels neither warm nor cold to your touch.
  • Call your caregiver if the fever has not dropped in 2 days.

Seek Immediate Medical Care If Your Child Developers:

  • Seizures, repeated vomiting, dehydration, spreading rash, or difficulty breathing.
  • Repeated episodes of diarrhea.
  • A fever that is not controlled with medication.
  • Coughing
  • Inconsolable crying
  • Painful urination.

Document Released: 12/18/2006 Document Re-Released: 06/05/2009
ExitCare® Patient Information ©2009 ExitCare, LLC.