Emergency Care

What is a high fever for a child?

A normal body temperature for kids is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (F). A fever happens when your body temperature rises above this number. It’s your immune system’s response to viral and bacterial infections, such as meningitis, pneumonia or influenza, and other conditions such as heatstroke.

A high fever in children is a temperature above 104 degrees F. A high fever in babies is anything over 100.4 degrees F. If you’re not sure when to go to the emergency room, a good rule is to seek medical care if your child’s temperature is above these numbers.

Also seek medical care for a high fever in children in these situations:

  • He or she just received vaccinations. A high fever may be a sign of a severe immunization reaction.
  • Your child has a chronic medical condition.
  • Your child has been outside of the country recently.

Our team at Goshen Hospital Emergency Department is equipped to treat high fever in children in Goshen, IN. With experienced physicians and nurses, leading-edge technologies and a compassionate environment, we provide advanced care that prioritizes the well-being of your family.

Symptoms related to a high fever in kids

Along with a high fever, children may also experience chills, sweats, body aches, weakness, fatigue and loss of appetite.

Seek medical care right away for these signs and symptoms:

  • Confusion, disorientation or hallucinations
  • Symptoms of dehydration, including decreased tear or urine production
  • Purplish-red, dotted rash
  • Rapid pulse or heart rate
  • Severe headache, severe sore throat, stiff neck or abdominal pain
  • Seizures
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unusual drowsiness, lethargy, fussiness or high-pitched crying

Treating high temperature in children

At our emergency room, we diagnose what's causing the high fever and provide the appropriate treatment. If the condition is severe, we may transfer him or her to a qualified children's hospital. We have well-established relationships with nearby facilities and can ensure a smooth transition.

At home, you can help your child feel better with these tips:

  • Give him or her children's versions of acetaminophen or ibuprofen to bring down the fever. Ask your doctor which one is better for your child. Don't give your children aspirin due to the risk of Reye's syndrome, a life-threatening medical disorder.
  • Apply cold compresses or have your child take a lukewarm bath that's slightly cooler than his or her body temperature. Avoid cold baths, which could trigger shivering, and alcohol and other rubs, as they absorb through your child's skin.
  • Give your child plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
  • Use layers of clothing or covers for easy adjustment when your child is chilled or breaks into sweats.

Goshen Hospital Emergency Department serves Elkhart County by treating high fever in kids in Goshen, IN.