Temperature Tips: Does Your Child or Infant's Fever Require a Trip to Urgent Care?

Temperature Tips: Does Your Child or Infant's Fever Require a Trip to Urgent Care?

Infants’ and children’s bodies are designed to withstand a normal fever, but fevers can be extremely scary for parents — especially first-time parents! You may not know how high is too high, or when to call the pediatrician or take a trip to the urgent care.

As both pediatric care and urgent care specialists, the Rapid City Healthcare team in Irving, Texas has experience assessing and treating childhood fevers.

What temperature is considered a fever in infants and children?

A temperature over 100.4°F (38°C) is considered a fever. Our normal body temperature is 98.6°F, but everyone’s body temperature fluctuates throughout the day. Newborns tend to have a normal body temperature of 99.5°F.

What if the temperature is lower than normal?

While everyone knows about fevers, not everyone is aware of the concerns lower-than-normal body temperatures cause. A low temperature is sometimes a sign of a serious illness, especially in newborns. Visit the urgent care if your baby’s temperature is below 97.7° taken rectally.

When high fevers require urgent care

While older children and adults don’t usually require urgent treatment for low-grade fevers, if your baby is under three months old and has a fever over 100°, you should seek urgent care. 

For babies and children over three months old, visit the urgent care for fevers over 102°.

You should also visit the urgent care whenever your child has a fever accompanied by flu or cold symptoms, if you suspect an ear infection, if your child has a sore throat with or without white patches, or if your child appears to have pink eye.

Fevers and seizures

About 2-4% of children under age 5 experience febrile seizures, a side effect of fevers. They are usually harmless and don’t require treatment, but you should seek urgent care if it is the first time your baby has experienced a seizure to ensure it isn’t something serious.

Seizures may look like the child is passing out or can cause jerking movements. Put your child on their side if they appear to have a seizure, don’t put anything in their mouth, and call 911 if this is their first seizure. If you know it is a febrile seizure due to a fever and it isn’t the first time it has happened, you can wait five minutes to see if it resolves before seeking urgent care.

The skilled urgent care medical team at Rapid City Healthcare is ready to take care of your infant or child at a moment’s notice. We quickly assess the situation and respond to your child’s medical needs quickly. The urgent care is open from 8am to 8pm, Monday through Saturday. Come to the office, call, or schedule an appointment online today.

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