When to Seek Treatment for Fever

Published Online: Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

Mary Jean Ohns, DNP, APRN, CPNP, CCRN, of Toledo Children's Hospital joined Contemporary Clinic during the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners in New Orleans, Louisiana to discuss when treatment should be sought for a child's fever. 

Mary Jean Ohns, DNP, APRN, CPNP, CCRN: Children with fevers should go to their primary care provider if the parent is concerned. If the child isn't drinking, then they're going to get dehydrated, so they're going to need to be seen by somebody. There really isn't a fever number or usually we start looking for a cause of the fever if the child has had a fever for 5 days or longer. Then, we might think, 'Okay, we might have to do some testing to figure out what's causing the fever." But before that, we assume that it's a virus. It's more how the child is acting, how the child looks, than the number. We treat the fever so the child is more comfortable and, hopefully, drink so that they won't get dehydrated, while the virus will probably run its course and go away.

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