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My Child Has a Fever - Should I Schedule a Sick Visit?

My Child Has a Fever - Should I Schedule a Sick Visit?

One of the unique challenges of parenting is providing onsite health evaluations for common childhood concerns, including fevers. Even experienced parents can struggle with deciding whether their child requires home care and rest for a fever versus a trip to the doctor’s office.

Our team at Southfield Pediatrics in Bingham Farms and Novi, Michigan, understands the complexities of parenting and is here to help with comprehensive pediatric care, including when your kiddo is spiking a fever. Consider these common sense guidelines for solving the dilemma of when to schedule a same-day sick visit for fevers.

What temperature constitutes a fever?

Generally, a fever is defined as a body temperature above 100.4 degrees F. However, it's important to consider other factors, such as the child's age and overall health, when assessing the severity.

Additionally, the thermometer style can influence whether your child’s temperature meets the level of “fever.” For instance, we recommend rectal thermometers as the most accurate type for infants and young children. If you’re using an armpit thermometer, a fever is any temperature over 99 degrees.

When to schedule a sick visit

Most importantly, our team at Southfield Pediatrics always encourages parents to trust their instincts when it comes to scheduling a visit. If you're concerned about your child's well-being, even if the fever seems mild, it's always acceptable to schedule a sick visit for peace of mind and professional guidance.

Otherwise, we recommend you consider several factors when judging whether it’s time to see the doctor, including:


Call our office any time if you have an infant under 3 months old who develops a temperature of 100.4 F or above. Increased temperature is often the only sign of serious illness in a newborn.

Conversely, temperatures under 97.7 F rectally may also signal serious illness in a baby under 3 months old and require a sick visit.  

High temperature

If your child's fever is persistently high or doesn’t respond to fever-reducing medications, we recommend calling our Southfield Pediatrics office. High fevers can indicate a more serious underlying condition that requires medical attention.

Persistent fever

Our team recommends scheduling a sick visit to identify the cause and receive appropriate care if your child’s fever persists for more than five days sooner if they have other concerning symptoms.

Additional symptoms

Seek medical care if your child exhibits concerning symptoms alongside the fever, such as:

These symptoms may indicate a more serious illness that requires medical evaluation.

Underlying health conditions

Children with pre-existing health conditions or compromised immune systems may be at higher risk of complications from fevers. If your child falls into this category, we advise erring on the side of caution and giving us a call promptly.

Home care tips for fever

Fevers are the body's natural response to fighting off infections and many resolve on their own with proper rest and hydration.

If your child’s fever is mild, and if they’re alert, eating and drinking normally, and displaying no other concerning symptoms, try these home care tips:

We also suggest age-appropriate fever-reducing medication like acetaminophen or ibuprofen as directed by one of our Southfield Pediatrics providers.

Remember, it's always better to seek medical advice when in doubt, and trust your instincts as a parent. Your child's health is paramount, and timely medical attention can provide the necessary reassurance and treatment they need.

Schedule an appointment at Southfield Pediatrics by calling our office today or requesting an appointment online.

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