When to seek medical advice

A fever in an infant or child is generally defined as a temperature higher than:

  • 100 F (37.8 C) with a rectal thermometer
  • 99 F (37.2 C) with an oral thermometer

Call your doctor if your infant under 3 months of age has any fever. Also, call your doctor if your child's fever is accompanied by:

  • Severe headache
  • Seizures
  • Stiff neck
  • Confusion
  • Repeated vomiting or diarrhea
  • Irritability or significant discomfort
  • Any worrisome, different or unusual symptoms

Seek advice from your doctor for:

  • A fever that seems to last longer than is typical (approximately three days)
  • A fever that seems to be less responsive to medication than is typical


Find possible causes of fever based on specific factors. Check one or more factors on this page that apply to your symptom.

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