As a parent, you know that a fever can appear on a baby out of nowhere. Before you know it, your baby is not just running warm, he or she is exhibiting a full-blown fever. Fevers can be fairly harmless, accompanying the discomforts of teething, or they can be an indicator of something more serious going on, such as an ear infection or a urinary tract infection.
When do I worry about my baby’s fever?
Here are some tips to help you when your baby runs a temperature:
- Take a rectal temperature, if possible.
“We usually don’t worry unless a fever exceeds 102° rectally. In babies under 3 months, watch for 100.4° rectal temperature,” said Advance ER physician, Dr. Thomas Vo. “At that point, it’s time to call or visit your physician. For babies 3-6 months, 102° or higher is time to call the doctor. If your baby’s fever is 104°-106°, it’s time to come to Advance ER where a board-certified physician is ready to help.”
- Watch for changes in behavior and appetite.
If your baby is not eating, is hard to awaken, is crying nonstop or is unusually lethargic, call your doctor right away. “You know your baby better than anyone,” said Dr. Vo. “If he or she is acting very ‘off,’ then it’s time to see the doctor.”
- Watch for accompanying symptoms.
There are several warning symptoms to be watching for including: vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, dehydration (dry diaper, less tears), rash, tender umbilical cord, eye mucus, seizure, or tender penis. These symptoms could be indicators of what is wrong with the baby and should be reported to the doctor.
“Advance ER is open 24/7 for just this sort of thing,” said Dr. Vo. “Please feel free to bring your baby in when he or she has a fever and an accompanying symptom so we can provide timely medical care.”
- Take action.
If a lukewarm bath and other home remedies don’t bring the fever down, and your baby’s fever is at or above the temperatures described above, it’s time to come to Advance ER.
“If needed, we can always contact a pediatric specialist through our SPECIALIST NOW™ program,” said Dr. Vo. “That’s one of the great things about Advance ER—our immediate access to specialist care any time, day or night.”
Advance ER is here when your baby needs emergency care. Our board-certified physicians have an average of 15 years of experience and are experienced in caring for infants and babies with a variety of medical concerns.
Advance ER: the right care in the right place at the right time.
Meet Dr. Vo:
Thomas Vo, M.D., FAAEM, is board-certified in emergency medicine. He received his medical degree from Northeastern Ohio University’s College of Medicine in Rootstown, OH. He completed his residency at William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oaks, MI. He has served in hospital ERs across Texas.
Dr. Vo enjoys participating in physical activities, playing guitar and spending time with his wife and four children.