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Supacase's avatar

How do you feel about letting a child "ride out" a fever?

Asked by Supacase (14543points) March 2nd, 2011

Do you think a child should be given a fever-reducer such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen at the first sign of a fever or once a fever reaches a certain temperature?

Or, do you feel a fever is the body’s way of fighting an illness and let the fever continue untreated? At what degree of fever, if any, do you begin to treat it?

For argument’s sake, let’s assume fever and a cough are the only symptoms.

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13 Answers

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

From my doctor: Anything under 101, ride it out. 101–103.9, take some ibuprofen. 104+, go the the ER.

Bellatrix's avatar

I think @MyNewtBoobs is right. I would say it depends on the level of fever. Fever is to my knowledge and I am not a medical doctor, a natural way the body deals with infection/illness but too high a temperature is dangerous.

However, regardless of all that I would probably see the doctor if my child was sick anyway and definitely if I was in the slightest way concerned, just to be sure because children can go down hill so fast.

SpatzieLover's avatar

My son gets a cyclical fever. I treat it with Ibuprofen. (he’s allergic to Tylenol). I’d certainly take him to the ER if he was above 103 for any period of time.

My personal stance on this is to look at the rest of the symptoms. If it’s just a fever and a slight cough I wouldn’t be too concerned.

I get concerned when vomiting and diarrhea are added into this mix. My little guy can quickly take a turn for the worse when these occur.

optimisticpessimist's avatar

I usually let a low fever ride itself out. Same as what @MyNewtBoobs said. I do not take them to the doctor unless the symptoms increase (excessive vomiting and/or diarrhea) instead of decrease over time.

Supacase's avatar

@SpatzieLover What is a cyclical fever? My daughter gets high fevers with no other symptoms. Those are probably 90% of her illnesses.

I do what @MyNewtBoobs does while also taking her behavior into consideration. If she is completely lethargic at 100, I will give her Tylenol. If she is playing and being her normal 5 y/o self at 102, I might not do anything

I ask b/c my husband’s cousin never treats a fever because he is convinced the body’s fever is fighting off whatever is wrong. They let ear infections get to the point of potentially damaging her hearing by the age of two, but that did not change their way of thinking. No, it is not because of any religious beliefs.

I also have a couple of friends who do not treat fevers at all unless they close in on 104.

cak's avatar

Unless it’s over 101, I don’t give anything – per doctor’s orders. Unless my son is just really uncomfortable.

My daughter rarely runs a temp. If she’s running one, it’s all or nothing. She scared the daylights out of me one time, normal and then a couple hours later 103 and miserable. Strep throat. Blah!

12Oaks's avatar

Better than overmedicating. I never overuse doctors. May see one once a year, if that. You get sick, you get better. Nothing you could do to stop that.

Cruiser's avatar

I always let their level of discomfort be my guide and they seemed to do well with TLC up until 101 fevers or better. Once the got that hot is was time to double team and alternate between Ibru and Tylenol.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@Supacase Cyclical=runs in a cycle. This happens to him after he has a cold/flu. We’re not certain yet, but it may have something to do with his sinuses.

I also have family members that do not treat any symptoms. One family consists of many children. They tell us stories about how bad their kids are feeling during colds/flu. one story consisted of the mom telling us how her son’s eardrum bled in the middle of the night…she finally gave him a melted aspirin for the pain…Oh my!

Nullo's avatar

There is a temperature past which fevers are dangerous – one of my cousins had a high fever in infancy, and it messed up his eyes permanently.

I typically don’t medicate my fevers.

perspicacious's avatar

I generally administered Tylenol when fever was over 100. My kids, when preschoolers, both ran fever up to 105 on occasion.

casheroo's avatar

I don’t give anything unless the child is very uncomfortable, and the fever is over 102. Fevers are good. I just have to remind myself of that when it’s my babies. But, usually they just need rest, and lots of fluids.

gailcalled's avatar

I run a low normal temperature; c.96.5 97.4. After a night of clear GI problems, no sleep and too much familiarity with the toilet bowl, I was miserable yesterday. Headache, stomach ache, muscle aches, cotton brain and general misery. My temp got up to 101 yesterday and felt like death. I took an Advil every 6 hours and now am back to normal.

I would not pick a number arbitrarily out of the air, particularly for a child

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