When to Seek Care for a Fever
September 17, 2020
A fever (defined as a temperature of 100.4°F or higher) happens when your body is trying to fight off an infection or your immune system becomes activated. The increase in your body temperature signals that something is not quite right with you.
Sometimes a fever comes and goes quickly, other times it lingers, and your temperature fluctuates over time.
Below is a breakdown of when you should contact your doctor or health care provider if you have a fever:
Numbers that are cause for concern:
- 105°F – Go to the emergency room
- 103°F or higher – Contact your health care provider
- 101°F or higher – If you’re immunocompromised or over 65 years of age, and are concerned that you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, contact your health care provider
Situations that are cause for concern:
- if you have a fever and it doesn’t go down after taking over-the-counter medications, like ibuprofen
- if you’ve been in hot temperatures and develop a fever, it could be a sign of a heat stroke
- if you’ve been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, you could be at risk for the virus
Call your doctor for medical advice if you experience any of these situations.
Call your child’s pediatrician under the following circumstances:
- 0-3 months – Your child has a temperature of 100.4°F or higher, with or without symptoms
- 3-6 months – Your child has a temperature of 100.4°F or higher, plus irritable behavior/sleepiness OR a temperature of 102°F or higher
- 6-24-months – Your child has a temperature of 102°F for longer than a day AND symptoms such as a rash, cough or diarrhea
- 2+ years – Your child has a temperature of 100.4°F or higher AND symptoms such as a rash, fatigue, headache, stiff neck, prolonged diarrhea or vomiting
- Your child has a seizure
- Your child has a temperature of 103°F or higher
- Any fever that starts after your child has been in hot temperatures (could be a sign of heat stroke)
- Your child’s fever doesn’t go down after taking over-the-counter medications, like ibuprofen
- Your child has been in contact with someone who has COVID-19
Next Steps & Resources:
- To make an appointment with a doctor near you, call 800-822-8905 or visit our physician directory to make an appointment online.
- Register for telemedicine through HMH Care NOW.
The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care
5 Questions to Ask Your Physician at an Annual Physical Exam
Getting an annual physical exam is an important step in staying healthy. It’s an opportunity to touch base with your primary care physician while you are healthy so you can stay that way.
Know How to Stop the Bleed
Bleeding is a leading cause of preventable death, so it's crucial to be prepared. Bystanders are often the first on the scene and can make a life-saving difference. Learn how to stop the bleed and save lives in emergency situations.
What Type of Doctors Work at an Urgent Care?
Discover the diverse range of physicians you may encounter at urgent care centers, from family medicine and internal medicine specialists to sports medicine and emergency medicine experts. Learn how these doctors, along with nurse practitioners and physician assistants, provide essential care in urgent situations.