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Phone: 516-295-1200
Fax: 516-295-1207

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Phone: 516-679-5000
Fax: 516-679-5340

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What is fever?
Fever is considered a rectal temperature greater than 100.4 Fahrenheit and is most accurately measured using a plastic digital rectal thermometer. Temporal scanners also provide accurate measurements. Oral, axillary (under the arm) and ear thermometer measurements are less accurate alternatives.
 
What does fever mean?
Viruses that are not dangerous cause most fevers in children.  Viral infections usually resolve in a few days and are not affected by antibiotics.  Some fevers are caused by bacterial infections such as ear infections or strep throats.  These infections usually require antibiotics. Rarely, fever is caused by dangerous bacterial infections.
 
Why treat a fever?
The most important reason to treat a fever is to make your child comfortable and minimize crankiness.  If your child has a low-grade fever, isn’t cranky or is very difficult to medicate, treating the fever is not necessary. 

When does fever become a concern?
            Birth to 4-weeks old              rectal temperature greater than 100.4 Fahrenheit
            1 to 2 months old                  temperature greater than 101 Fahrenheit
            2 months to 2 yrs old            temperature greater than 103 Fahrenheit

If fever lasts more than 4-5 days or goes above 103 Fahrenheit for more than 2 days, call our office and ask for an appointment.
 
How can fever be controlled?
Use either Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil).  Check the dosage chart on the back of this page.  Tylenol may be given as frequently as every 4 hours and Advil every 6 hours.  For high temperatures, you may use both medications if that is necessary to provide comfort and fever control.  Give one at a time.  If an hour after giving one fever medication, the temperature is still high or if the temperature goes down but recurs before the next dose of that medicine can be given, you may use the other medicine.  Don’t give either medicine before it is due and don’t give more than the recommended dose.
 
What about seizures?

Fever is extremely common and seizures are extremely rare.  Seizures caused by fever are frightening but not dangerous.  Febrile seizures usually occur early in the illnesses, just as the fever is developing.  Once your child has a high fever, the likelihood of a seizure occurring is very small.  If a febrile seizure should occur, try to stay calm.  Stay near your child and don’t move him unless he is in a dangerous place.  Loosen any tight clothing and turn his head and shoulders gently to one side.  If your child’s breathing is labored or very noisy, pull the chin and jaw forward to open the airway.  Call 911 or our office for additional advice.
 
What else can I do?
Keep your child lightly dressed and offer plenty of fluids.  Cool fluids may also help lower the fever.  While you are waiting for Tylenol or Motrin to work, you may sponge bathe your child’s face and arms with lukewarm water.  Avoid cold water and never use alcohol or place your sick child in a bathtub to treat a fever.  Remember, the reason to treat a fever is for your child’s comfort only.  Don’t compromise your child’s safety. 

 

Acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tempra, Feverall)

Doses can be given up to every 4 hours. Max 5 doses per day

 

 

Weight

 

 

Dose

 

Infant Drops

and

Children’s Suspension

(l60 mg/5 ml)

 

Children’s Chewable Tablets        (80mg tablets)

 

Junior Strength

Tablets    

(160mg tablets)

6-11 lbs

40 mg

1.25 mL

 

 

 

12-17 lbs

80 mg

2.5 mL

 

 

 

18-22 lbs

120 mg

3.75 mL

 

 

 

23-33 lbs

160 mg

5 mL

 

2

1

34-44 lbs

240 mg

7.5 mL

3

1 ½

45-55 lbs

320 mg

10 mL

4

2

56-66 lbs

400 mg

12.5 mL

5

2 ½

67-77 lbs

480 mg

15 mL

6

3

78-88 lbs

560 mg

17.5 mL

7

3 ½

More than 89 lbs

640 mg

20 mL

8

4

 

Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Pediacare fever drops)

Doses can be given up to every 6 hours

 

 

Weight

 

 

Dose

 

 

Infant Drops

(50mg/1.25 mL)

 

Children’s Suspension

(100mg/5 mL)

 

Children’s

Chewable

Tablets

(50mg tablets)

 

Junior Strength Tablets

(100mg tablets)

12-17 lbs

50mg

1.25 mL

2.5 mL

 

 

18-22 lbs

75mg

1.875 mL

3.75 mL

 

 

23-33 lbs

100mg

2.5 mL

5 mL

2 tablets

 

34-44 lbs

150mg

3.75 mL

7.5 mL

3 tablets

 

45-55 lbs

200mg

5 mL

10 mL

4 tablets

2 tablets/caplets

56-66 lbs

250mg

 

12.5 mL

5 tablets

2 ½ tablets/caplets

67-77 lbs

300mg

 

15 ml

6 tablets

3 tablets/caplets

78-88 lbs

350mg

 

17.5 mL

7 tablets

3 ½ tablets/caplets

More than 89 lbs

400mg

 

20 mL

8 tablets

4 tablets/caplets

 

1 teaspoon = 5 mL

 

Please note:

For the Infant Drop Forms, use only the dropper that came with the package.

Never use Aspirin for children.

Use caution when giving cough and cold medications that contain Acetaminophen (Tylenol) because they can cause an overdose if given along with Tylenol.  Always read the label.

11/28/14

View the KidsDoc Symptom Checker from HealthyChildren.org