When Is a Fever Dangerous?

School is back in full swing, and your busy schedule of homework, sports and activities has returned. What also has returned by now is probably at least one illness!

The beginning of the school season always brings about an increase of viruses, stomach bugs and various infections, and many of them include a fever as one of the symptoms.

Before you hurry out the door to have your child be seen for his or her fever, keep in mind that the vast majority of fevers are not dangerous.

Read on as our AFC Urgent Care Gastonia team explains more about fevers and when it is recommended to seek medical attention.

What Is the Threshold for a Fever?

Our bodies and our children’s bodies naturally fluctuate a little during the day, and our temperatures can go up and down a few degrees without it being considered a fever. This is why a provider won’t officially diagnose a fever until the thermometer reaches 100.4 degrees or higher.

Even then, having a fever simply means that your body is working hard to create a hostile environment for the illness to spread and thrive. This raised temperature also helps your immune system work more efficiently, so in most cases, having a fever means your body or your child’s body is healthy and doing what it is supposed to be doing.

Common Illnesses That Produce Fevers

  • Influenza
  • Ear infections
  • Chickenpox
  • Respiratory infections
  • Urinary tract infections

When Is a Doctor’s Visit Necessary for a Fever?

Try treating your child’s low-grade fever at home with simple remedies like cool water, rest and some OTC fever-reducing medication if your child is feeling miserable. Dress him or her in light layers and keep him or her cool. Most fevers only last a day or two as the body works its magic!

If your child’s fever persists for three or more days, it could indicate a more serious issue. That is when we recommend coming in to be seen by our team! It is also important to come in if your child’s fever doesn’t respond to OTC medication or reaches 103 degrees or higher. Dangerous fevers can also cause other symptoms, so don’t hesitate to come see us when you are worried.

Additional Symptoms of Dangerous Fevers

  • Sensitivity to light
  • Confusion
  • A spreading rash
  • Seizures
  • Stiff neck

Fevers can be frustrating to deal with at home. Come see us at AFC Urgent Care Gastonia any day of the week.