Children's Fever 101

14 Aug 2018

Your child’s normal body temperature is about 98.6 °F—99.4 °F (when measured orally) with slight variations throughout the day. 

A “low fever” is generally accepted to be below 102 °F, moderate is 102 °F-104 °F, and a high fever is 104 °F and above.

A fever is one of the ways your child’s body responds to and fights an infection. A fever isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, for infants and babies younger than 3 months old, even a slight fever can be dangerous. Call your pediatrician right away.

If your child is older than 1-2 years of age and has a fever above 102 °F, you can treat them with the appropriate children’s dose of acetaminophen. Many cough and cold medicines include acetaminophen, so make sure to read labels thoroughly if you’ve already given them acetaminophen. For more important fever treatment tips, you can read this article from the Food and Drug Administration.

Never give children aspirin. While it’s safe for adults, aspirin could lead to Reye’s syndrome in children, a rare disorder that can be fatal.