Fevers scare parents. Many parents worry that fever can cause seizures or "brain damage" in their children. Fever is only a symptom. It is usually a sign of an infection and not something to fear in-and-of itself. In fact, there is evidence that fever helps the immune system fight infections. The height of the fever doesn't always correlate with the severity of the illness. The only reason to treat fever is to make your child feel more comfortable.
- Fever in a child two or three months of age or younger: This may be sign of a more serious infection. Do not give acetaminophen or ibuprofen - call the office immediately for any rectal temperature of 100.4 or above!
- A child who has had seizures with fever: While studies have not shown that by given acetaminophen or ibuprofen regularly, further seizures can be prevented, it is still a reasonable approach.
- A febrile child who is vomiting non-stop or not drinking fluids: By lowering the fever, the child needs less water to stay hydrated.