How high do you let a fever go? - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-20-2005, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm a nurse and was always trained to give tyelnol with any temp over 101 for a child. I've now seen the light and realize that a fever is a good thing and allows the immune system to develop. I've read lots of info and have trouble finding any one answer on how high to let a fever go before giving an antipyretic. I always believed febrile seizures could start with a temp of 105, but have found info indicating that this number is really 104. Another source said that seizures are caused when the temp rises too fast and has nothing to do with the actual degree. Any thoughts? I'm dealing with a 13 mo old by the way. Thanks.
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Old 02-20-2005, 07:25 PM
 
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Honestly, it depends on my child. If they are acting OK (relatively so) and are below each of their 'thresholds', I'll let them go. If they are totally listless and grey and are at or near their 'threshold', I'll medicate.

My oldest gets high temps and has gone as high as 107 (and had no seizures at all) so she's got to go over 104 or be really sick before I medicate her. My 2nd DD has only ever hit 104 so I'll medicate her when she's around 102 because that's when she's really sick. My 3rd has gone to 105.5 so his limit is about 103 and my 4th seems to have a limit of around 102.5 or so. Like I said, I also evaluate what the other symptoms are and how sick they seem. If they have a 102 fever and are so sick that they 'can't move' (you know that feeling) then I'll medicate them whereas I'll let it go if they're playing at 103.

I've found that by not having a hard and fast rule, I can better work with the fevers and let them do their work. It's tough when they're little and you don't know how they 'run' but you should be getting an idea by now - and like I said, watch how he acts when sick and that will give you a better idea.
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Old 02-20-2005, 09:08 PM
 
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my comfort zone ends with 104/105 depending on other symptoms and the child's comfort

but your daughter has other things going on and i'd take all that and her cofort into account (I know you are...just seconding your instinct mama )
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Old 02-20-2005, 10:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks mamas!
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Old 02-21-2005, 01:56 AM
 
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I read in dh's nursing texts that you only need to treat fever for comfort in young children -- I had always worried about brain damage, and last winter ds got a fever that spiked often from 98 to 106 in an hour; scary! I even went as far as the er after several days, and they said medicated him for comfort -- however, I figure a fever's doing the job of keeping them down. I tend to medicate over about 104.5 -- all my kids tend to run hot; in fact, low fevers bother me more just because they're abnormal for my kids.

Before medicating I always try sponging them in a warm bath. I also read a great article in Compleat Mother on fever -- it rang true with me, suggesting that if a child is feverish but has cold hands/feet/ seems to be shivering, wrap them in a blanket to help the fever crest more quickly as there is probably a reason that the body is elevating the temp (use common sense of course; I wouldn't bundle up a child with 106 degree fever and let them cook!) -- and that if a child is feverish but has warm hands/feet unwrap them to help them cool, and use cool cloths on their head, as the fever has probably already reached its peak.
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Old 02-21-2005, 02:06 AM
 
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2.5 yo ds2 had started a fever last night....some vomiting....at 2pm today it was 103.5, he was miserable and couldn't sleep even though he was trying, so I gave him homeopathic belladonna, which usually works great to bring a fever down; but in 20minutes it was 104.5, and he's never had one that high, so I gave him Tylenol and a warm bath, and some dolivaxil (homeopathic, I wanted to cover all bases) and it went down in about an hour. So, that's my comfort level He's been fine since then....happy, running around, wanting to eat/drink. Phew!

Kristi

"Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen." Ralph Marston

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Old 02-21-2005, 04:31 PM
 
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well, i was gonna say that when my mercury thermometer broke a few years ago, i never bothered to buy a new one of any sort. so tbh, i have no idea how high they get. i do know that my oldest has hit 105 many times. you guys make me feel bad, you all know the exact degree that your kids need meds at. lol

Bring back the old MDC
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Old 02-21-2005, 04:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blessedwithboys
well, i was gonna say that when my mercury thermometer broke a few years ago, i never bothered to buy a new one of any sort. so tbh, i have no idea how high they get. i do know that my oldest has hit 105 many times. you guys make me feel bad, you all know the exact degree that your kids need meds at. lol
I listed temps but it was really just kind of a guideline. If one of my kids is laying listless at 102 and not eating or drinking, I'll medicate them whereas if they're at their threshold but still vertical and playing, I'll tend to let them go. As they act, that's more how I medicate.
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