Treating fever for babies — what a pediatrician suggests you do

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Fever is a common way to tell if a child is ill, but what should parents do if a child younger than a year has a fever?

Texas Children’s pediatrician Dr. Sarah Burns breaks down what parents should know when dealing with fever in children younger than a year.

0-3 months old

  • “A fever in a child younger than 3 months old is very concerning, especially if they have yet to receive their first rounds of vaccines,” said Dr. Burns. “If your child is under 3 months old and runs a fever of 100.4ºF or greater, I would call this an emergency and encourage you to take your child to a pediatric emergency center immediately – whether day or night.”
  • Should you give Tylenol? “No. Don’t give anything to a child younger than two months old because you don’t want to mask what their body may be trying to communicate through their body temperature.”

3-12 months old

  • Dr. Burns warns, “There are a lot of things to watch for with this age group. It’s especially important to take note of the other symptoms your child may be showing. For example, are they drinking enough water? Is their wet diaper count lower than usual? Are they eating normally? Are they responding to Tylenol (for those infants 3 months and older)? These are some of the questions and symptoms you should watch for.”
  • “We suggest parents bring children in this age group to their pediatrician within one to two days if their fever or symptoms persist.”

Parents, it’s important to remember that a fever in itself is not concerning – the number in and of itself is not what we’re looking for – it’s usually an indication of something else. When kids don’t feel well, they won’t drink well, eat well or perk up as usual.

Pay close attention to the change in your child’s behavior. Take note of those other symptoms and don’t treat the number or the fever, treat the child.

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