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Treating fever in babies and toddlers

When little ones have a fever (generally 100.4°F and up), it’s all about making sure they’re comfortable. If they’re flushed, fussy or in pain, bringing their fever down can help them rest and feel better.

To help reduce a baby’s fever:

  • Try a lukewarm bath. If you’ve given your baby medicine, this can work well right after. But stop if you notice shivering, because chills can make babies’ temperature rise.
  • Offer lots to drink.
  • Dress them light. And keep their room not too hot, not too cool.

Call your pediatrician if your child:

  • Is under 3 months (12 weeks) and has a temperature of 100.4°F or higher
  • Is over 3 months (12 weeks) and has a temperature of over 100.4°F
  • Is between 3 and 24 months and still has a fever 100.4°F or higher after 24 hours
  • Has a temperature over 100.4°F plus any of these symptoms:
    • Severe headache
    • Sore throat or ear pain
    • Repeated vomiting or diarrhea
    • Stiff neck
    • Strange rash
    • Looks very ill, or extremely drowsy or fussy
    • Has been in a very hot place (like an overheated car)
    • Has underlying immune system problems, seizure history, or takes steroids
  • Seems to be getting worse, even after being treated

To help prevent your little one’s next fever, make sure everyone at home washes their hands often, and doesn’t share utensils, glasses or towels.