What Causes High Fever in Children and When Should You Worry?

checking fever

Fever is terrifying for parents. Whether you’re a new parent, watching your children suffer is never easy. It’s even harder when they have a febrile illness. While most fevers subside in three to four days and require nothing more than proper hydration, over-the-counter medication, and rest, talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about your child’s symptoms to determine the best course of action.

Causes of High Fever in Children

Viral infections are the most common causes of fever in children. If a child has a fever, there is a good chance one of the following conditions caused it:

  • Colds
  • Flu
  • Roseola
  • Chicken Pox
  • Hand, foot, and mouth disease
  • Fifth Disease
  • Bacterial Infection

On the other hand, some viral infections are contagious and are treatable with antibiotics. These infections can go on for 12 hours before your child has to be seen by their pediatrician. These conditions include:

  • Ear infection
  • Sinus infection
  • Pneumonia
  • Bladder infection
  • Strep throat

How Age Impacts Fever Treatments

A child’s body temperature changes with age. Children one-month-old or younger should seek immediate medical attention if their temperature approaches 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit because this can indicate dangerously high fevers. If your infant has a fever, notify your pediatrician immediately so that your child can be seen either at their office or in the emergency room. 

Don’t give your child any fever-reducing medications until you have talked with your doctor; you may need to keep your child in the hospital for additional tests. It’s also essential to take an accurate temperature reading. For infants six weeks old or younger, a rectal thermometer is the most accurate method to use.

Infants under the age of three months should be seen by their pediatrician, even if they appear to be healthy. Their immune systems are not as robust as older children or adults, and illnesses can escalate quickly; the younger child may not communicate symptoms the way an older child or adult would. 

For children between the ages of three months and three years who have a fever of 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit (39°C) or higher, contact your child’s pediatrician to determine if your child should be seen; for older kids, their behavior and activity level will give you an idea as to whether you’re dealing with a minor illness or if a doctor’s visit is necessary.

How Long Do Fevers in Children Last?

Most children get fevers and cold-like symptoms, lasting from three to five days. After that, a child should see the doctor eliminate any risk of complications.

A fever is not a disease but rather a symptom. This means it can indicate a wide range of underlying conditions, and the length of time a child has a fever depends on the root cause. For example, the most common viral infections that cause fevers in children last for a few days, whereas a fever lasting for a few weeks or longer could result from a bacterial infection. 

If you aren’t sure what’s causing your child’s fever, it’s best to have your child evaluated by a physician who can determine the cause of the fever and the best course of action to take. In addition, let your pediatrician know if you suspect your child has a chronic illness, such as diabetes or cancer.


There’s nothing worse as a parent than seeing your child sick, especially when a fever is involved. The good news is that most fevers do not require medical attention. The key is to pay attention to your child’s behavior, temperature, and other symptoms, and always contact your doctor if your child’s fever lasts for more than a few days.

Your Kid’s Urgent Care offers superior and convenient urgent care pediatric services to all children who enter our offices. We serve as the intermediary between a child’s primary care physician and the emergency room. When children get sick after-hours or on holidays, parents shouldn’t have to make the troublesome decision of either going to the emergency room or doing nothing. If you want to get urgent care in Orlando, FL, we’ve got you covered! Call us at (877) 466-7946 for immediate assistance. 

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