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What Is a Fever?

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Updated July 05, 2014

What Is a Fever?

What is a fever and what should you do about it?

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Definition:

Many people believe that any body temperature over 98.6°F is considered a fever. However, this is not necessarily true. The rules are a little different when it comes to children as well.

For adults, a body temperature over 100°F is usually considered a fever.

Children's body temperatures tend to fluctuate more than adults and they can handle higher temperatures. A temperature of over 100.4°F is considered a fever for a child.

How to treat a fever:

  • Medications - acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or aspirin
  • Cool bath (not ice)
  • Cool compresses under arms

Important note: Aspirin should NEVER be given to a child under 20 years old because it may cause a deadly disease called Reye's syndrome.

Related Video
Preparing Your Toddler for a Doctor Visit
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