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Generally speaking, there's no need to call the doctor right away unless you notice that your child is running a high fever for his age:
• Your baby is younger than 3 months and has a rectal temperature of 100.4 degrees F. or higher.
• Your baby is 3 to 6 months and has a rectal temperature of 101 degrees F. or higher.
• Your child is older than 6 months and has a rectal temperature of 103 degrees F. or higher.
But you should also alert the pediatrician if you notice any of the following conditions:
• Your baby is very dehydrated: Hasn't had a wet diaper in six hours, has a dry mouth, and has few or no tears when she cries.
• Cold symptoms don't start to improve after five days (could indicate it's something else, like bronchitis, a sinus infection, or even pneumonia).
• Your kid seems very fussy, tired, and out of it, even with no fever.
• Your child's breathing is rapid or labored.
• Your child refuses to drink (a sign she may have trouble breathing).
Copyright 2007 Meredith Corporation.
The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.