June 25, 2007,
J.B. asks from Dallas, IA on June 24, 2007
My 15 Year Old Has Ran a Fever of 103 for the past 2 Days
I know that 103 is a pretty high fever for an older teenager, so I was wondering what some thoughts on this was.. we called the ER last night and they said to watch that he is still retaining some liquids and is responding to us. He has had some diareah, and a headache, but it's the high fever that worries me. He hasn't had any food in the past 2 days either. My main question is how high is too high for his fever to go.
J.H. answers from Boise on June 24, 2007
This is too high for too long. Are you in an area that has West Nile problems with mosquitos? I would have him in to his pediatrician immediately! No more waiting. This is not only scary but I am sure he is miserable and he needs some relief too. Kids can handle a lot but this can be absolutely exhausting and causes delerium and I would have him in and SOON. The emergency room cannot diagnose over the phone and I would not take anything they said too seriously, if it was their child running this high of fever for this long, you can bet they'd be in with their child THAT DAY! High fevers for long periods have been linked to brain damage and other problems that crop up in the future. Be pro-active and take him in, I would rather be safe than sorry!
I am a mother of a 14 year old and a 20 year old, I've been through it all and this is one I would not dare to guesstimate about!
2 moms found this helpful
L.B. answers from Sioux Falls on June 25, 2007
What Lowell says is what I have been told at Acute Care when I bring in my young kids, I have a 7 yr old, a 2 yr old and a baby. As long as he is alert and taking in liquids, then all you can really do is let it run its coarse. I remember once when I was maybe his age, or maybe a bit older, I had this high fever with really no other symptoms. I slept for 36 out of 48 hours. But once that third day started, I felt great. So give him lots of rest, lots of cool baths or showers and lots of fluids even popicles, if teenagers arent too cool to eat them! ;) I hope everything turns out fine. Good Luck!
S.M. answers from Boise on June 25, 2007
Is he not eating because it hurts him to swallow? I was a teenager when I got Mono, and it could be a possiblity. It's alot like flu sytoms, you have less than 0% energy, can't eat or drink sometimes (I couldn't swallow my own saliva), and a high fever. I can't remember if I had diarrea or not, I just remember not moving from the corner of the couch for like 5 days.
Basically, if he's not better very soon, it wouldn't hurt to get him to his doctor. Better safe than sorry.
L.Y. answers from Cheyenne on June 25, 2007
I really wouldn't worry yet. A temperature of 103 is really not that high and means his body is trying to fight an infection (usually viral). The increase in body temperature makes the environment unfriendly for the infection, which is what you want. The vast majority of fevers are caused by viral infection and last no longer than 3 days. If the temperature gets to 105 then it could be bacterial. Fevers cause no harm, such as brain damage, when it is less than 107. Fortunately, the brain's thermostat keeps untreated fevers resulting from infection below 106. If he has convulsions, these are generally harmless, but there is a need to rule out a more serious condition (especially meningitis).
You do need to see a doctor if:
a. the fever gets above 105
b. if it gets hard to wake him up
c. if his neck gets stiff (associated with meningitis)
d. he starts getting convulsions
See a doctor within 24 hrs:
a. the fever gets above 104
b. burning or pain with urination
c. if the fever "breaks" and then returns within 24 hrs
d. the fever lasts for longer than 3 days
The best thing you can do for him is to try and make him comfortable. Make sure he is getting liquids. Boil a chicken with lots of vegetables and feed him the strained broth. Don't use broth you buy at the store. It's really not a problem that he doesn't have an appetite, but he does need fluids.
DON'T GIVE HIM ASPIRIN!!!! Several studies have linked aspirin and viral illnesses with Reye syndrome.
If you have to give him anything give him acetaminophen. This should reduce the fever by 1-2 degrees in a couple of hours. Keep in mind though that the fever is helping him fight the infection, so why try to help the enemy?
Good luck and I hope he feels better soon.
Most of the info above comes from "Current Pediatric Diagnosis & Treatment" by Hay, Hayward, Levin, and Sondheimer 15th Edition.