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Pediatrics Common Questions, Quick Answers

Fever

Donna D'Alessandro, M.D.
Lindsay Huth, B.A.
Peer Review Status: Internally Reviewed
Creation Date: October 2001
Last Revision Date: April 2002


Common Questions, Quick Answers

What is a fever?

What causes fevers?

Are fevers contagious?

How do I use a thermometer?

Glass Thermometer


Digital thermometer
A digital thermometer costs more than other thermometers. It needs batteries but works fast. Your child has to sit still for a short time while you take his temperature.

Digital thermometer


Tympanic (ear) thermometer
A tympanic thermometer costs the most of all thermometers discussed here. It also needs batteries but works fastest. Your child has to sit still for a short time while you take his temperature.

Tympanic thermometer


How do I take my child temperature?
Feeling your child's forehead, face, or stomach is NOT a good way to tell if he has a fever. You must take your child's temperature with a thermometer (not temperature strips or pacifier thermometers) to be sure he has a fever. There are different ways to take your child's temperature. Use the way that is best for your child's age. Never leave any child alone with a thermometer.

Babies and Young Children

Image of baby getting temperature taken

 

Age 5 and older

Image

How is a fever treated?
Fevers can be treated with or without medication. If your child has had a febrile seizure (seizure during a fever) he should have medication every time he has a fever.

Without medication:
With medication:

mg= milligram
tsp= teaspoon
ml= millileter

Age

0-3 Months

4-11 Months

1-2 Years

2-3 Years

4-5 Years

Weight (lbs)

7-15 lbs

16-23 lbs

24-28 lbs

29-40 lbs

41-50 lbs

Acetaminophen
(Tylenol/Tempra/Liquiprin/Panedol) dose in mg

40 mg

60-80 mg

100-120 mg

120-160 mg

240 mg

 

Drops
(1 dropperful= 80 mg/ 0.8ml

0.4 ml or 1/2 dropper

0.6-0.8 ml or 3/4 drop

1-1.2 or 1-12 drop

1.6 or 2 drops

-----

Elixir
(160 mg/5 ml or 1 tsp)

-----

2.5 ml or 1/2 tsp

3.75 ml or 3/4 tsp

5 ml or 1 tsp

7.5 ml or 1 1/2 tsp

Chewable Tablets
(80 mg each)

-----

-----

1 1/2 tablets

2 tablets

3 tablets

Ibuprofen
(pediaprofen/ Motrin/ Advil)
dose in mg

-----

50-75 mg

100 mg

150 mg

150-200 mg

Ibuprofen
(100 mg/5 ml or 1 tsp)

-----

2.5-3.75 ml or 1/2-3/4 tsp

5 ml or 1 tsp

7.5 ml or 1 1/2 tsp

7.5 -10 ml or 1 1/2-2 tsp

 

How long should a fever last?

How can fevers be prevented?

When should I call the doctor?

Quick Answers

References

Title Page


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