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Old 03-04-2011, 10:28 PM
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Fever: how high before going to ER?

My ds14 started getting a fever yesterday. It started out at about 102.5. Then today it has averaged 101. He has only taken a few doses of Dayquil and then Nyquil last night and tonight. Before I gave him this dose tonight, he vomited once and his fever was at 103.7. Other symptoms are mild cough, aches, head/eye ache. He has continued to eat a bit and is staying well hydrated.

We don't treat fevers unless there are other pains going on or other symptoms in general where the benefit of medication outweighs the benefit of the fever itself. How high is too high before I take him to the doctor? I've read conflicting ideas from medical websites.
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:48 PM
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All I can offer is an opinion since I'm not a doctor. I think younger children can have a higher fever and be okay. For a teen or adult I would consider his 102.5 as being a high temp and 103.7 as needing something to bring it down. Does the Nyquil help bring the fever down? His symptoms sound like the flu. If it were my son, maybe even if it were myself, I would see a doctor just to make sure it didn't get out of hand.
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Old 03-04-2011, 11:38 PM
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Unfortunately, I have a lot of experience with high fevers in my kids. Anything over 102 usually indicates a bacterial infection, but it could be a plain old flu. The thing to worry about in fevers is when they get high very quickly (which could cause seizures, but usually only in young children) or when they get over 107. Yes, 104+ is definitely cause for concern, but you typically don't see brain damage until 108. Both of my kids have reached 107 before, and 106 was common with their colds. (One had chronic adenoiditis, and the other has immune deficiency.) If you give advil and the temp doesn't come down, you can try tylenol on top of it 2 hours later. If it still doesn't come down, there's something major going on.
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Old 03-04-2011, 11:49 PM
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104 is plenty high (105 is actually dangerous)-- if it gets 104 and won't come down with ibuprofen or tylenol, take him in. You can wipe the inner arms (pits to wrists) with alcohol, put a cool wet towel around his neck, put him in a tepid bath then let him air-dry, but I don't recommend using actual ice, it's too shocking. Some people prefer to "break" a fever by getting the patient to sweat by wrapping up, drinking hot tea or broth, maybe taking a really hot shower, or drinking the hot tea while sitting in a hot bath.

Fever is not really a bad thing, it's the body's defense, but he needs to stay hydrated.
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Old 03-05-2011, 01:07 AM
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I'll share with you what I learned in nursing school and it's what we go by at our house

It's not so much the fever that's the problem, you can have a fever and feel not too bad or not have a fever and feel like crap. Fever is a good thing, it's our body fighting the nasties off.

So long as he's hydrated and eating some, and acting 'okay' I personally wouldn't take my kids to the doc.

105 is our Call the doc magic number. We treat fevers at 103 here. We start with a lukewarm bath-it's the most effective treatment I've ever found. They only get medication for fever if it's keeping them form resting or they have other symptoms they need tylenol/motrin for.

Tepid bath is the best thing in the world for a fever. Don't use alcohol-it evaporates too quickly and may cause him to shiver. Don't use cold water or compresses. If he gets too cold he'll shiver and shivering is your body's way of raising your body temp which is exactly what you don't want.
You don't want a hot bath/shower for the same reason-once he gets out of the hot bath/shower and cools off quickly-it may cause him to shiver, therefore raising his body temp. What you want is evaporation of water from the skin, which is how our bodies cool themselves when we get too hot.

There are some herbal teas that are said to treat fevers. Black elder is one. Linden tea is said to make you sweat and therefore used to treat a fever.
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Old 03-05-2011, 06:23 AM
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From my Drug Guide:
Quote:
Advise patient to consult health care professional if fever is not relieved by routine doses or if greater than 39.5C (103F) or lasts longer than 3 days

(this is information I'm finding as I'm reviewing the use of medications used to treat fevers)
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Old 03-05-2011, 06:56 AM
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I just saw this on the Today show (i think) the other day. The doctor on there said that a child's fever should be kept below 102. I found an article that also talks about what this new AAP study said: Here I heard the same on TV.

This is what it said about calling the doctor:

Quote:
In general, she said, parents should alert their child's doctor if:
An infant is under 3 months old and has a fever of 100.4 F or above.
An infant between 3 and 6 months old has a fever of 101.5 F or more.
An older child has a fever of 103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
Any child has a fever accompanied by lethargy, headache, skin rash, trouble breathing or dehydration.
My daughter just had the flu about a month ago and the nurse I talked with on the phone told me to take her to the hospital if it got above 105 and wouldn't come down with meds or below 95 (with the temporal thermometer). I don't know if she is right or not.
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Old 03-05-2011, 08:12 AM
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You have been given very good advice. My ds gets a really bad fever at least once a year. We have had to piggy back tylenol and advil. My doctors told me not to come in if tylenol & advil worked keeping it under 104. We did alot of tepid baths, cool cloths on the forehead, popsicles along with alot of fluids. It seems like their is alot of this crud going around this year. I hope it passes your house soon.
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Old 03-05-2011, 08:23 AM
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I have a daughter who has spiked fevers as high as 105.8F. That is just the way she fights off infection. She has only twice in her life gone on to develop subsequent bacterial infections when she has a virus. Some children are prone to febrile seizures. Most aren't. We found out very early on that she isn't one of them. I do give Tylenol or Motrin just for comfort.
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Old 03-05-2011, 09:41 AM
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Thanks! I knew you all would know. Sounds like we've been doing things right, other than at 14 he's in charge of his own baths.

The fever always came down after the Day/Nyquil (has "tylenol" in it), so I won't worry about it anymore. This morning it is back to averaging upper 101s. He's feeling a lot better and is still drinking plenty of fluids. We don't get sick much here, so it always seems a bit more alarming when it comes on quick with a high fever.

Thanks!!!
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