Severe Fever Treatment
The human body is amazing in how it is naturally wired to defend against illness and disease. One of the defense mechanisms of the body is a fever. This temporary increase in body temperature often accompanies illness and lets you know that something is not as it should be with your body.
Adults can have a fever as high as 102 F (39 C) before they should become concerned. Temperatures over 103 F (39 C) should be cause for a trip to the doctor’s office. Infants and toddlers with slightly elevated temperatures should be examined by a doctor right away because the fever could indicate a serious infection.
Usually, a fever will subside after a few days. Over-the-counter medications can lower a fever, but if it is not too high, you may want to let it run its course. This is because the body uses the higher temperature to fight off infections.
When to See Your Doctor
If your baby or toddler gets an unexplained fever, you should make a trip to the doctor under these circumstances:
- Less than 3 months old with a rectal temperature of 100.4 F (38 C) or higher
- Between 3 and 6 months with a rectal temperature up to 102 F (38.9 C) and is fussy, lethargic or uncomfortable, or if the temperature is higher than 102 F (38.9 C)
- Between ages 6 and 24 months and has a rectal temperature higher than 102 F (38.9 C) with no other symptoms and the fever has lasted longer than 24 hours
With older children, as long as the child is responsive, there is probably no cause for alarm. If the child has a fever and is vomiting, or is unresponsive, or the fever has lasted longer than three days, make an appointment with the doctor. If your child has immune system problems or pre-existing illness, you should check in with your doctor.
Adults should see a doctor if the temperature is 103 F (39.4 C) or above. Any time one of these symptoms accompanies a fever, you should seek immediate medical attention:
- Severe headache
- Unusual skin rash that spreads rapidly
- Unusual sensitivity to bright lights
- Stiff neck and pain when bending your head forward
- Mental confusion
- Persistent vomiting
- Difficulty breathing or chest pain
- Abdominal pain
- Pain with urination
- Convulsions or seizuresv
Most of the time, a fever is a normal part of the healing process as the body fights off infection. If you or your child is very uncomfortable or experiencing pain, or the fever is not reduced with over-the-counter medication, contact Dr. Michael for an appointment. An examination can determine the next steps for treating the illness.