Your Child Has a Fever: Here’s When to Require Urgent Care

sick child

When a child comes down with a fever, it’s natural for parents to worry. They also exercise caution, especially when their kid is quite young. It can be tricky to figure out when they have to get to urgent care, and when an emergency room visit is necessary at that. 

Fever is the body’s way of fighting off germs—a major indicator that there may be something wrong. Healthy people usually have a temperature above 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, but factors like age and activity level cause some fluctuation. Meanwhile, most doctors agree that a temperature above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit requires medical attention since it’s pretty high.

What Happens When Children Have Low-Grade Fevers?

The most common cause of fever in babies is either immunization or teething. In some cases, when you bundle up your baby under too many layers of clothes, they can “heat up.” In turn, this will lead to a temperature higher than usual on the thermometer reading.

Check if the child’s sleeping, drinking, and eating patterns have been disturbed. See just how playful they are. If none of those factors seem to have issues, there’s no need for urgent care or the emergency room. Of course, a call to the pediatrician is still in order.

Urgent Care

Urgent care, as the name suggests, is an immediate response to conditions that could manifest as a fever. It includes ear and sinus infections, upper respiratory infections, and strep throat. Pediatricians most commonly recommend urgent care for:

  • A child older than three months with a fever of 102 degrees Fahrenheit
  • A child three months and below with a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit

If a child with a fever shows symptoms such as abdominal pain, rashes, or vomiting, a trip to the nearest urgent care center is necessary.

Emergency Medical Care

Going to an urgent care center will usually suffice to meet the needs of a sick child. This is, of course, barring symptoms that are obviously life-threatening. If a child collapses, has seizures, or shows signs of a stiff neck, you should seek emergency care immediately through a 911 call.

Guidelines for Rushing Children to the ER

For Newborns and Infants Under Three Months Old:

Symptoms include a fever with other factors alongside it, including:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty waking up to eat
  • Incessant or inconsolable crying
  • Rashes
  • Vomiting

For Babies and Toddlers between Three Months and Three Years Old:

A fever over 102.2 degrees is a clear sign. Also, these symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty waking up
  • Immunizations that are not updated
  • Not urinating
  • Rashes
  • Unable to keep fluids down

For Children Aged Three Years Old and Above:

A fever over 102.2 degrees for two days or more, with these symptoms alongside it:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Burning during urination
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Immunizations that are not updated
  • Rashes
  • Stiff neck


A child with a fever will naturally cause parents to worry. However, it can be tricky to learn when urgent care or the emergency room is in order. Urgent care is typically pediatrician-recommended for babies three months and below with a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit and 102 degrees Fahrenheit for those older than three months.

Do you need children’s urgent care in New Providence, NJ? Your Kids Urgent Care is here for you! We serve as the intermediary between the emergency room and a child’s primary care physician. Get in touch with us today to book an appointment!

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