Last January, my toddler woke up in the middle of the night crying inconsolably. He started thrashing his body across the bed and became very hot to the touch. I immediately took his temperature and there it was – 105 degrees. He asked for water but couldn’t keep it down. He started shaking uncontrollably and I called 911. He was having a febrile seizure, which can happen in young children with high fevers. He was transported to the hospital and they got his fever down and got fluids in him. In my situation, I reacted on instinct. At the time, I worried that I was overreacting, but it turned out that going to the ER in this case was the best choice.
Sometimes we can panic when it comes to our kids and we don’t know how to handle fever or sickness. Sometimes we feel it may not warrant a visit to the ER but in some cases it does. The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center had an article in their most recent OK Kids newsletter to help guide parents on what to look for. They say children need to be seen by a doctor if:
-Is younger than 2 months old and has a temperature of 100.4 or higher.
-Is 6 months old or older and has a fever higher than 101.
-Is younger than 2 years old and has had a fever for more than 24 hours.
-Is 2 years old or older and has had a fever for more than 72 hours.
They also stress that the way a child is acting is far more important than what the thermometer says. If a child is lethargic, can’t stop crying, can’t hold down food or liquids, or shows signs of dehydration, contact a doctor. And if you’re ever in doubt about what to do or what a fever means, or if your child is acting in a way that concerns you, always call your doctor for advice.