Benefits of Having a Fever

When to Seek Help

There are times when a fever, sometimes in combination with other symptoms, should send you hightailing it to a doctor or emergency room. These include:

  • A rectal temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater in an infant less than 6 weeks old. "Young babies are at more risk for certain serious bacterial infections, and fever is an indication of these," says pediatrician Ari Brown.
  • A fever of more than five days duration.
  • High fever accompanied by lethargy -- your child is limp and unresponsive, won't make eye contact, or generally just looks and acts really sick.
  • High fever accompanied by any of the symptoms of meningitis: an unusual skin rash, severe headache, aversion to light, confusion, stiff or painful neck.
  • Constant, inconsolable crying.

Originally published in Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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