Fever in Children: Pediatrician or ER matter?

Many times, fever can be an alarm symptom for us, especially if it occurs in infants. Although it is often necessary to go to the emergency room or with the pediatrician to treat this discomfort, in other cases it can also be treated from home. For this reason, today we will talk about fever in children, as well as when it is advisable to go to the pediatrician or to the emergency room, and when to treat it from home.

Why does fever occur?

Fever occurs as a defense mechanism of our body, specifically the immune system. This usually happens, when said system "fights" or defends itself to keep us free of viruses or any other external agent that seeks to infiltrate our body and harm us.

So, instead of seeing fever as an alarm or danger signal, it is advisable to see it as a response that our body uses to protect itself. This, as long as this fever does not reach very high temperatures that can really endanger the life of those who are suffering from it.

In many cases, when the fever is not high, it is recommended to keep the infant as fresh as possible, without wearing too warm clothes but let it cool down. It is also appropriate to make him drink fluids to avoid dehydration. It is important to be attentive to the child's temperature, trying to take it with a thermometer several times during the day.

When can fever be treated in children from home?

Many times children can have a fever and continue with normal behavior, eating well and without decaying emotionally, this can be interpreted as a good sign. However, it should not be forgotten that fever in children requires more care than fever in adults. This can be treated from home, as long as the scenario is similar to the following:

  • That the fever does not exceed 38 ° C (because after 39 ° C the fever is considered a high fever, and may represent a much more serious risk).
  • In case the fever goes down after 2-3 days of being presented.
  • In case there is no alarming symptoms (drowsiness, vomiting, skin rashes, or respiratory problems).

When taking the temperature, it should be taken into account that the thermometer can produce slightly different results according to the area from which it is taken. Usually, axillary temperature results tend to be lower than rectal. So, the infant can be considered to have a fever when it manifests a temperature greater than 37.5ºC in the axillary area, or greater than 38ºC in the rectal area.

When is it recommended to consult the pediatrician or go to the ER for fever in children?

In case the fever persists and the child's discomfort worsens or remains the same, it is important not to let more time pass and take it to the pediatrician. It is also convenient to take it when one or more of the symptoms mentioned below occur:

  • If more than 2-3 days have passed and the fever worsens or does not improve, or any alarming symptoms of discomfort are still present.
  • In case the infant has drowsiness, breathing problems or tends to get irritated easily.
  • In case of any skin reaction, such as red or black spots on the skin.

It should be noted that all these recommendations and observations focus on infants with ages over 2 years. Since, in the case of children with less than 2 years of age we should always consult the pediatrician before the appearance of fever and go to the emergency room if it is a child under 3 months of age.

Fever in children is not always dangerous, but it does require that we pay attention

As has been seen and as mentioned before, fever is part of a natural reaction of our body to defend against viruses that want to affect it. Although this is often not dangerous, it is important that we also stop paying attention, especially if it is the children who have a fever.

Try to observe carefully the symptoms that occur with the fever of the infant, take his temperature on a regular basis, and if you see that it does not improve in a maximum period of 24 hours, consult with the pediatrician. If the symptoms persist, and 2-3 days have passed since the fever began, do not hesitate to go immediately to the emergency room.