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Forum Name: Pediatric Topics

Question: Fever


 sassykitten480 - Sun Nov 25, 2007 8:49 pm

My 4 yr old daughter has basically had a fever all day. When I give her medicine it spikes up to 104 the gradually goes down but not below 101. Do I take her to the ER or just wait it out? She is normally a very healthy and active little girl and now she doesn't really want to eat or do anything. What do I do
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Sun Nov 25, 2007 9:01 pm

User avatar Hi Sassykitten480,

This is a very common difficulty in pediatrics-when does a fever mean something more serious than a simple cold virus?

The answer to this really lies in the fact that a fever is a symptom of something else going on. Usually, the causative factor also causes other symptoms. If your daughter is doing ok except for the fever it is probably reasonable to continue using the anti-fever medicines and have her seen by her doctor if she isn't getting better in a few days.

If she is more ill or concerning to you then it is absolutely reasonable to have her seen in the emergency department. Even if it turns out to be a simple cold, no one would fault you for taking your daughter in if you are concerned about her.

Often, a big difficulty with ill children is dehydration. If you feel your daughter is becoming dehydrated she should be seen. Symptoms of dehydration include: a decrease in urination from normal, increased heart rate (checked by feeling the pulse in the wrist, normal for her age would be less than 140 or so), or an increased capillary refill time of more than 2 seconds (checked by compressing the nail bed of the finger and counting how long it takes for the blood to refill).

One other reason to have her seen would be continued fever in the absence of other symptoms (no coughing, etc.).

Best wishes. I hope your daughter feels better soon.

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