The most important step when determining what to do about fever symptoms, is to check your temperature with an accurate thermometer. Several types of thermometers are available and they work in different ways.
- Oral (digital or manual)
- Axillary (digital or manual)
- Rectal (digital or manual)
- Tympanic (digital) - scans ear temperature
- Temporal (digital) - scans skin on forehead
Once you have accurately taken your temperature, evaluate whether or not you need to take action to bring it down.
- In adults, a temperature over about 100 F is considered a fever.
- In children over 6 months old, a temperature over 101 F generally needs treatment. It is important to consider how your child is acting when deciding the course of action for a fever. If the child is lethargic and eating or drinking poorly, you should treat the fever more aggressively than if the child is playful and active.
- In children 3 to 6 months old, a temperature over 101 degrees F requires a call to the pediatrician.
- In children 0 to 3 months old, a rectal temperature over 100.4 F requires a call to the pediatrician.