Question

Infectious Disease

Should I give my child medicine for a fever?

A Answers (3)

  • ATanya Remer Altmann, MD, Pediatrics, answered

    Check with your pediatrician before giving your newborn any fever-reducing medication. And again, if your baby is younger than 3 months and has a fever, always call your doctor immediately or go to the emergency department.

    Remember that a fever is just a sign that your child’s body is fighting an infection. The reason your doctor may recommend medicine to reduce a fever is so that your child may feel more comfortable (and therefore you will as well). When your child feels better, she will drink fluids (Popsicles work too) to help avoid dehydration that can occur with a fever. If she’s acting well and drinking fluids, you don’t have to give medicine because the fever itself isn’t dangerous and will more than likely go away by itself.

  • ACindy Haines, MD, Family Medicine, answered
    It is not always necessary to give your child medicine for a fever. The AAP recommends giving medicine to reduce fever when your child is very uncomfortable. Fever is one of the body's natural defenses against illness. If the fever is mild and your child is not uncomfortable, I would skip it.
  • ANicole Nelson, MD, Emergency Medicine, answered on behalf of Riverside Emergency and Trauma Center
    Fever medications should not be given to infants under 3 months old unless directed by a physician. For older babies and children, if they are uncomfortable, fever can be treated with ibuprofen and/or acetaminophen. A fever will not harm your child and there are actually some studies that suggest it may help to fight infection.
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