A fever indicates your child’s body is fighting an infection. Most fevers resolve on their own, but if they persist or continue to rise, it’s important to seek treatment. At Manchester Pediatric Associates, the team of experienced pediatricians has years of experience managing fevers. To make an appointment for your child at the practice in South Windsor, Torrington, or Tolland, Connecticut, call the nearest office today or schedule online.
A fever occurs when your body’s internal temperature rises above the normal level. An area of the brain, called the hypothalamus, regulates body temperature. Any reading higher than 98.6° degrees Fahrenheit indicates an underlying issue, like an infection.
Fevers aren’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s thought that by increasing body temperature, it’s easier for the immune system to fight off potentially harmful invaders like viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
A fever can occur for various reasons, including:
The leading cause of fever is infection. If your child comes down with the common cold or the seasonal flu, their body temperature rises as a defense mechanism.
Many new parents wrap their infants tightly in warm clothing and blankets. Because babies don’t regulate heat as well as older children, these excess layers may cause their body temperature to spike.
Immunizations train your child’s immune system to identify and attack harmful invaders. The process of “training” sometimes results in side effects like a low-grade fever.
Fevers usually aren’t something to worry about as long as they're below 102° degrees Fahrenheit. If your child is three months old or younger and they have a temperature of 100.4°, call the team at Manchester Pediatric Associates right away.
Fevers in older children typically aren’t a big deal, as long as your child is still:
If you notice any unusual behavior that concerns you, make an appointment.
To diagnose a fever, your child’s Manchester Pediatric Associates provider takes their temperature and conducts a physical exam. If they suspect your child’s fever is due to a more serious underlying health problem, they might also order additional tests like blood work, urinalysis, or diagnostic imaging.
Most fevers are mild and resolve on their own with at-home measures of care like rest, drinking plenty of fluids, and taking over-the-counter medication. Fevers make children lose fluids more quickly than usual, so you might also want to buy drinks that contain electrolytes like Gatorade or Pedialyte.
If your child is old enough to attend school, keep them at home until the fever breaks. That way, if they’re contagious, they won’t get any of their peers sick.
If your child has a fever that won’t break, make an appointment at Manchester Pediatric Associates by calling the nearest office today or scheduling online.