48 answers

My Son Has a Fever with No Other Symptoms.

Hello all -
My 5 year old son is running a low fever with no other real symptoms. Yesterday I picked him up from preschool and noticed nothing unusual. He came home, had a snack, went outside for a little while....then started getting tired pretty early and ended up falling asleep at around 6:30 pm. He woke up about four times over the course of the night, screaming/crying that he was afraid of the shadows on the ceiling. He was hot and sweaty each time that I went to him, but I assumed he had just worked himself into a frenzy over the shadows thing (plus the blanket was a bit much for last night).

This morning, he still felt pretty hot, and didn't want to eat. By the time I took his temp, it was at 101.7. I know that's not very high, but my son is NEVER sick, so I worry ten times more when he *does* get sick. Plus with no other symptoms I don't know what it could be. I gave him a little Tylenol and it's responding to that. He still doesn't want to eat, but he did drink a pretty large glass of orange juice a couple of hours ago. I also pressed on both of his ears to see if maybe it was an ear infection (he's never had one), but this didn't seem to bother him at all. My constantly checking his temperature, however, *does* seem to be getting on his nerves a bit. lol

Anyway - if he was sniffling or something I wouldn't even be posting this. But should I worry if he has a fever with no other symptoms?

Thanks for you help!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Wow - Thank you for all your responses! I just posted this yesterday; after a continued sluggish afternoon yesterday and a long nap, he woke up last night a bit more alert and wanting to eat dinner. And laughing. I made him go to bed later even though "he wasn't tired", just to get more rest; this morning he seems pretty much back to normal. I'll keep an eye on things that many of you suggested; he is due for his annual checkup so I'll try to get him in this week!

Oh and by the way - my son now likes to take his temperature "all by himself". LOL
Hey, I bough the thermometer when he was an infant and have used it about 5 times in as many years, so I guess it's about time it got put to use!

More Answers

It could be the change in the seasons. He may have a little cold little enough you dont notice the other stuff. My son the other day had a small sniffle and his eye were watery. he doesnt have any none allergies but the next morning bam it was gone. I dont know do kids still have teeth coming in at this age? he could be getting molars of some sort i know there are 6 year molars he could be gettingin early. See if he will take juice and popsiciles. As long as he keeps fluids coming he should be ok not wanting food for a day or two. just offer him small snacks of crackers and cheese jello apple slices pudding thoses sorta fo things he will eat when he needs too. Good luck and this too shall come to an end!!

1 mom found this helpful

101.7 is pretty high. When he gets to elem. school they will send him home for 99.0. I have two boys in school and a girl about to start next year and the fevers are something passed around in school. If he runs 100 or more it's time for the pediatrician. Popcycles, pedialite, and mommy cuddles are a big help. Be careful about how much medicines you give. Sometimes a fever is just a fever. The nightmares could just be his body fighting the fever. Watch for other symptoms but if he seems not to have any two or three days after the fever started, he's probably ok. You obviously are doing great if you are seeking advice and worried about this. Have confidence in yourself and your love for your son. Good luck and I hope he feels better soon!

1 mom found this helpful


When my now 4 1/2 year old son was younger he had many ear infections that we never caught because he showed no symptoms. The few we caught were because it ruptured, or because he spiked a high fever with no other symptoms. I would take him in to the doctor. I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Hugs for your little guy and hope he feels better soon.

Hope tis helps,

1 mom found this helpful

Hi K.,

When our children have stomach bugs or colds, we seem to deal with it with no anxiety, but for some reason, when children have fevers, even the most relaxed parents can get worked up over it.

First of all, he is in pre-school. There will always be bugs going around...either one child or another has a runny nose or a cough, or a low-grade fever or an ear ache. It seems the cycle never ends at times. Often times, it's just a little something that makes its way through the system (both the school's and the child's *grin*).

Also, as I mentioned already, for some reason fevers strike fear into many parents. While it is definitely important to really tune into your child and be aware of what is going on, it can be helpful to remember *why* we have fevers in the first place. The body will produce a fever in order to stimulate the immune system to respond to some sort of disturbance (i.e. a virus). A fever is only one symptom, and it is a good sign that your child's immune system is *working*!

I think it is *really* important to look for other symptoms present. Some symptoms can be a bit more elusive than others. Vomitting or a runny nose or a rash are very tangible, but a headache can be more challenging to detect. Have you asked your son if any body parts hurt? If he has a hard time with this question, you can ask if his body parts feel good. Sometimes just switching the perspective can help clue them (and you) in to something that doesn't feel like it normally does.

I would recommend going to your library or nearest bookstore and checking out "Take Charge of Your Child's Health" by George Wootan, M.D., and Aviva Romm's "Naturally Healthy Babies and Children." Actually, I would highly recommend buying them. They are invaluable and indespensible. I believe if you get these two books and actually read them (not just when your child is sick), you will be more in tune with your child's health during both their well and sick times, as well as cut down on trepidation about whether or not to bring him in to the doctor, *and* cut down on doctor visits in general.

The more informed you are, the more you will be able to decipher more clearly when to just stay home and give your little one extra nourishment and nurturance while his body fights off whatever it encouners, and when it is imperative that he see a doctor. And the more confident you become, the more you will be able to trust your gut when, even though he may have a low fever or few symptoms, it tells you that something more serious is up. (Or, on the flip side, when he has a high fever with no other symptoms, but you *know* that what he really needs is rest).

I feel like this was rather vague, but I hope this helps in some way, and I wish you and your little boy health and happiness!

1 mom found this helpful

I wouldn't be too concerned. Kids sometimes have symptoms but they're not able to describe them to us and they're minor enough that we don't notice them. Since he isn't eating, he may have a bit of a stomach virus.

I've noticed that my adult cousin will have a fever and say that he has a bad cold but there is no noticeable evidence of a cold. He spends the day in bed, sleeping. He rarely takes time off from work and so I know that he's really sick.

You can check for the possibility of strep throat by looking at his throat with a flashlight. Strep produces a very red throat and usually has white pustules. If he complains of a sore throat (perhaps you could ask him if you haven't already) it is a good idea to take him to the doctor. However, when I, my daughter or my granddaughter have had strep throat we were really sick; lethargic, very aware of a throat more sore than usual. Unable to eat or even drink comfortably. We felt "like we'd die and were afraid we wouldn't" sort of feeling. So it sounds like it's not strep. Popsicles or sherbert were OK because the cold somewhat deadened the pain and frozen stuff slips down the throat without so much swallowing.

I'd not take his temperature so often. As you said it gets on his nerves. My method is to take it in the morning and again in the evening. It will be higher in the evening. Then you can just feel of his forhead during the day and if it feels noticeably warmer take it then. Otherwise just reassure him that he'll be better soon.

If you're very anxious I would recommend taking him to see the doctor if for no other reason to reassure yourself. You might be able to get some reassurance by call his office's nurse. Or some insurance plans have an advice nurse available 24-7.

Oh, yes. I learned when my daughter was a teen that when someone has a fever to only cover them lightly even if they feel like they're freezing. I took my daughter to the ER on Thanksgiving because her temperature was going up and her throat was so uncomfortable. The first thing the nurse did was take her down comforter away from her. He temperature fell by 2 degrees by the time we left the hospital. She had strep but her fever was being aggravated by our attempt to help her feel warm.

1 mom found this helpful

I always look at a fever as a good thing. I don't even treat it unless it is outrageously high and causing a lot of discomfort. In general, a fever just means that your body is fighting something, and it sounds like that is exactly what your son't body is doing. I would just make sure that he is hydrated, and not too uncomfortable, and hope that the fever kills whatever ailment is attacking his immune system. If it lasts more than three days, or goes higher than 103 definitely call a doctor.

It is really common for kids to have a fever for 24 hours or so before other symptoms appear. I wouldn't worry about it at all at the onset. If he still has the fever on Monday take him to doctor to make sure he doesn't have an ear infection or something else. But keep in mind if he is acting fine and still playing, whatnot his is probably in good shape.

My son has been running very high fevers every since he was an infant. He is now 5yrs. old. He has no other symptoms and the only thing that is abnormal that I am aware of is his eating habits because he does not eat very much. I can only use my imagination as to whats causing these 105 fevers I am not a doctor. Ive taking him to the hospital and they have never been much of a help and I had his blood work run and everything came back normal. The only thing I can do is give him fever reducers stay by his side and ride it out. If you are ever to find an answer to what is causing our children to run these very high fevers more than periodically please let me know at ____@____.com. I hope that sharing my sons experience was helpful if anything at all. I wish the best for you n your family with lots of blessings. Thank You!

ihave 4 uner 6 and lots of er infections.... currentlymy #3 is going through the tummy bug that seems to be all over town and she is running a fever not eating diahrea and vomit..... fun stuff....

so in my experience, if one of my kids was exhibiting the symtoms you describe I would:

give ibuprofen for the fever every 6 hours.
let them bumb around in pj's have a binky whtever comfort things they need to do.
Make sure that they drank an ouce or two of pedialyte or gatorade every hour to keep them hydrated.

If there is still a fever, not wanting to eat etc tomorrow morning, call you pediatrician to go in just to double check everything.

And as a side note; If your pediatrician cant see you the same day you call, then you have dont have a very good pedi office and I would suggest finding a pediatrician that can service youthe same day that you cal - try Univ Place Pedi's in Fircrest -

Could it be strep? My son had his first dose of antibiotics just recently and he's almost 2 1/2. He had a fever on and off for more than 3 days and didn't seem to have any other symptoms except that he wasn't wanting to drink as much. He was pretty irritable. I took him in and they did a strep test that initially came out negative but 2 days later they called and said the test came back positive (I guess they grow out the virus and can tell if it's strep for sure or not).
Ask your doc to do a strep test.

Thats a classic at our house! That's been my dd (she's almost 7) MO from birth! My 21 month ds does it too. It is nothing to worry about. It is just their way of going through these little childhood illnesses. When she starts in with a small fever like that, I just grab the Vit C and start getting liquids down her. But not milk! It is a mucous producer and most likely not helpful if she is coming down with a cold. Fevers are the body's way of fighting off germs. They stem from two sources. 1. the body working overtime trying to find the right antibodies. 2. the elevated temperature is one weapon your body uses to actually cook the germs to death. Most pediatric books will say do not try to lower the temp till it gets up past 104. Do what you can to help them be comfortable. And of course keep an eye out for any other symptoms. But it is entirely possible for him to just suddenly be his healthy self again without ever showing any other symptom. Don't worry. It'll be just fine. Oh, and you can use your hand for a rough temp check. Just touch your own forehead first, then theirs. Take inconsideration whether they've been running around, you've been doing dishes. etc.

My 21 month old is currently fighting a mild cold. When it started a couple of days ago all he had was a low-grade fever (100-101) nothing serious. We gave him Tylenol before bed just so he'd be more comfortable. He still woke up in the middle of the night crying and ended up sleeping with us. He was interested in eating and had no other symptoms other than this weird fever. But than two days after he got over the fever, the cold came on.

Your son may be fighting the same kind of virus. Take him to the doctor if you are still concerned but as long as the fever is low, let it run its course.

My 4-year-old daughter had a high fever for three days with no other symptoms last month. Just lethargic and no appetite. After three days the fever broke and she was fine. Some friends with kids said they had similar illnesses recently. Don't know what it is, but it does seem seem to be going around.

I just went throught the same thing with my 8 year old daughter. She ended up missing 8 days of school and then it went into spring break. We brought her in to the doctor because we were afraid it might be pneumonia and they said to continue giving her tylenol for the fever, fluids to keep her hydrated and lots of rest. They said there were so many viruses going around and you needed to just let them run their course. She had recently taken a course of antibiotics for a UTI and they said that would be the same thing they would have given her if they were to give her anything and just sent us on our way. It was frustrating because she was clearly miserable and there was really nothing we could do.

A couple of months ago my 2 yr old ran 103 temp for a week with no other symptoms. We took him to the dr and it was just a cold/infection or something. They can't really tell you. He just said to let it run it's course. I just kept him comfortable and let him sleep when he wanted to. It's no fun, but it should pass soon. Keep him filled with fluids. Hope it passes soon.

My son started doing this at even an earlier age, actually as a baby and he still does it even now at age 17! All I can say is treat the fever and watch for any other signs of infection. Some kids are just sensitive and run fevers under stress, but their bodies are fighting something. Does he still have his tonsils? Does he have allergies? Does he tend to get infections in his scrapes and bumps? These are the things you should watch for. Sorry I could not be of more help, but this is what has helped me to catch little things on my son, which in turn prompted a quick visit to the pediatrition.


A cold wash cloth on the forehead can help with fever, yes I belive you would call the your doctor and get into a place where they can diagnose what is going on with your son.

The normal range for oral temp is between 97.6 F/36 to 99.6 F/38 C, the baseline for oral temp is C-98.6 F/37.

The normal range for Rectal 98.6 F/37.5 C to 100.6 F/38.1 C. The baseline is 99.6 F/37.5 C.

Axillary the normal range is 96.6 F/35.9 C to 98.6 F/ 37.0 C. The baseline for axillary is 97.6 F.36.5 C.

Tympanic membrance the normal range is 98.6 F/37 C and baseline is the same.

Fever mean the body is at war with an infection.

Kids don't run fevers for nothing. My son just over a week ago was just like this. He stopped eating, slept and too naps, he was fussy over everything. So we took him in to the doctor and well we thought and so did the doctor that he had an ear infection...nope he had strep throat. So you just don't know. But don't ignore signs and fevers they are real even if your kids don't tell you what hurts.

Has he had immunizations lately? I would take him to a good naturopathic doctor as soon as possible. He may be having a reaction to shots. The reaction could cause autism. The more I learn about our bodies, and the medical sytem overall the less I trust MDs.

I agree with some of the others--if it's more than a couple of days take him in. There was a fever virus going around a couple of years ago and I had heard about it, so I didn't take my then 6 y.o. son in until the fifth day. The doctor decided to do a chest Xray and it was pneumonia! He had only been coughing very slightly for about a day and I was surprised when the dr. ordered the Xray. You just never know. . . better to be safe.

When that was the case with my daughter, it turned out to be a sore throat. The fact that he doesn't want to eat might also be a clue for a sore throat. Just a thought.

your son not wanting to eat is another sign. the flu is out and its not nice. so it could be that. i suggest you make a doctors appointment is he doesnt eat or the fever doesnt drop in 24 hours.

Maybe Roseola Infantum? You would know for sure if after the fever breaks he develops the signature rash. My daughter had this at 9 months and I was perplexed by the symptoms: fever only for a few days, more tired than usual, then the fever went away and she developed the rash. He's a little old to get it but check out this page:


My son had cronic ear infections his first two years, he is now 2 1/2. He never pulled at his ears and he always had a low grade fever and was usually very fussy and figitty, grumpy and not his usual self. We finaly go the ear tubs put in, he was a worst case senerio. Good Luck-Washington

You shouldn't worry too much right now as fever is the bodies way of fighting off "bugs." Keep the liquids down him and just keep giving him tylenol for the fever every 4-6 hours. I'm sure he'll be better in a couple days.

Hi there,

I wouldn't worry too much. If he has no other symptoms, then he probably has a viral infection. There is nothing you can do for a viral infection but wait it out. My daughter had one that lasted about a week. No other symptom. Just make sure he is getting enough fluids and make him comfortable. Remember a fever is just telling you the body is fighting something.

Good luck!!

A lot of childhood diseases like measles, rubella... start with fever and a few days later come the spots. Have him rest extra, drink lots of water, stay away from TV, don't let his fever get too high. You can give him Vit C, to boost his immunity, it should resolve itself in a couple of days.
Or go see your doctor.

It sounds like you are doing fine. There are some weird virus's out there that seem like that with the tiredness and light fever. I guess I wouldn't take the temperature so much. I think you can feel the back of his neck and tell if he's too hot, then I'd take the temperature if it feels hot. If it doesn't improve by tomorrow I'd call the doctor or if you have kaiser, the advise nurse.

I would definately take him in... my youngest sister had a fever with no other symptoms and it ended up being her appendix so better be extra safe I would take him in :) Good luck hope he starts to feel better.

my guess would be an ear infection, but i would take him to the doctor to get him checked out. you don't want to ignore it.

My daughter has had that happened before...a slight fever and not any other symptoms. The Corvallis Clinic Pediatrics department has an advice nurse that I call all the time. When she's had a fever with no other symptoms I've been told to give her a bit of Tylenol for the fever but if the Tylenol doesn't work or the fever lasts for more than a few days to bring her in. It could be that he has a flu bug...which as you know means lots of fluids...water and pedialite if he won't eat anything. If he's still sick by Monday...has a fever and won't eat I'd call his pediatrician...it never hurts to be cautious.

I hope he's feeling better soon.


Many virus will have no symptoms, and the fever is there for a reason. Do not try to suppress it unless it gets very high or the fever is interfering with your son's rest. The fever is the body's way of killing off the virus or infection. Trust your own wisdom. I wouldn't take my child to the doctor for those symptoms, you will only expose others to what your child has and your child will be exposed to others while his immune system is already compromised. I believe in lots of fluid, rest, vitamin c and echinacea. You will know if things change and you need to take him in to see someone.

my son recently had bad strep (he gets sick but nothing serious and bounces back quickly)
He was sick for about a week before he got a rash on his face. I took him to the doctor since this was unusual for him.

his symptoms were:
loss of appetite (this was due to ...)
sore throat
( I don't know if he had a fever or not, but he did feel a little warm I think)

The symptoms were drawn out over a period of a week or more and I didn't really start to get concerned until he refused his favorite food (banana). He would rest for a bit, saying he was sick, then would jump up a short time later, playing like usual, then lay down again.

check out WebMD, it might help you with the symptoms to figure out what to do next.

yes, you should be concerned. A fever means his body is fighting an infection of some kind, somewhere. Tylenol may lower the fever but if there is an infection involved it needs treatment. please take your son to his doctor. the problem is probably not a major one, they ususally aren't. however, I know from experience that infections can be Insidious and systemic and catching it early can be life saving. here is link to help.



My daughter has had a few low-grade fevers (between 100 and 102) with no other symptoms over the past year and a half. I was told by her pediatrician that children will sometimes run a fever as their autoimmune system is strengthening itself. It may be that your son is building up immunities as well. Here's what my doctor told me: keep an eye out for other symptoms that may develop in the next week and call your doctor if the fever suddenly spikes (103+) or lasts for more than 48 hours. If the fever comes and goes in a few hours to a day with no other symptoms, then it's probably nothing to worry about.

I went through something like this with my son just a month ago or so. I watched him have a fever off and on for about a week. No other symptoms were present. I decided to take him to the doctor and get checked out...he had...an ear infection. I was surprised. Apparently it was almost to the point of becoming and exploding ear infection, which I hear isn't good. I was surprised because I had tugged a small bit on my son's ears earlier in the week to see if that had anything to do with it, nothing. Then I asked him if his ears or neck hurt...nothing. So I was surprised to find out that's what it was. I would take him in and get that checked out. :D

Hi K.... I dont know what might be wrong, but my kids have experienced something similar to what your son is going through.. And I agree, it is very nerve racking not knowing what is wrong.. But one thing that I do know after taking the kids to the doctors, it could possibly be just a little bug that he is trying to fight off... Nothing showing on the outside, but could be intestinal or an ear infection that may not be bothering him too much yet..

You probably know that fever is a way of fighting off infection. It doesnt neccessarily mean that there is something major wrong, like I said, could be just a little bug... But if it continues or gets higher, that is when you need to take him into the doctor and get him checked out..

Good luck!! S.

I went through the same thing with my son from the time he was 5 until he was round 9 years old. About twice a year he would get a fever but NO other symptoms. I headed to the doctor for the first few times since he wsa in the 101-102 range. Each ime they did many checks and then told me that he had a fever virus. There were never any other symptoms and it lasted bout 24 hours. He even felt like playing during the day but night time he was uncomfortable. The doctor would always tell me to come back if the fever spiked or went about 103. Hopefully that is it. I know that some kids an also get a fever with the onset of allergies? I hope that your son feels better. L.

Hey Kristen,
My son Dylan was that way a lot between 4 and 7. I always took him to the doctor because I'm a worry wart! Usually it was just his body fighting off a new virus or sickness. I say he is probably okay, but you always have to trust your gut feeling. Ask him if he can bend his neck down so his chin touches his neck. If he can do that without pain, then at least you know it has nothing to do with his spine. If it does hurt, you should take him to the doctors. Good Luck! J.

My three year old went through the same thing last month finally we took him to the doctors, he had an ear infection

Hi K.,
I wouldn't worry too much, if he gets time to rest and enough fluids to replace what he lost from sweating, then I'm sure he'll be fine. All three of my kids have done something similar, except for my youngest, being only 4 months he couldn't let me know in anyway what was bothering him. So my guess is he just got himself worked up and that wore him out, and I know sweating a whole bunch would make me more thirsty than hungry also. Oh, to check his temprature in a way he won't notice, lick your lips and kiss his forehead for abnormal warmth, my kids take that better than the themometer, plus you don't really need an exact number, unless it's for your comfort. Hope my suggestions help.

Has he urinated lately? He could have a urinary tract infection, or it could be a kidney infection. They tend to have a fever with no other symptoms. Have him pee in a clear cup for you so you can see how dark his pee is. If he is drinking enough water it should be almost clear. If it is dark like almost orange you might want to have him checked out. It also could just be a growth spurt. Good luck. I hope he feels better soon.

This has happened with all three of my kids, but with a much higher fever. Every time is has been Roseola. Here's a link:


Not a whole lot to worry about. I just treated the fever and waited for the rash afterward. The rash was always very light and will probably go unnoticed unless you're looking for it. HTH!

I would definetly see your doctor. I thought that generally a fever indicates infection, better safe then sorry. good luck

If he still has a fever, TAKE HIM TO THE DR! The advice about not giving him tylenol or ibuprophin if his fever is under 102 is pure BS! I have a child with a low immune deficiency, RSV, & Crohns diseases...ONLY YOUR DOCTOR is qualified to help you figure out what is wrong. Take him in, tell your Dr everything, listen to his advice, if you are concerned enough, ask for blood tests, ask for a RSV nose swab test...RSV can show up as only a fever...

My first advice is to go with your instinct. If you feel something may really be wrong, then go to the doctor. No one knows your kids better than you do.

That being said, my both of my kids (3&1) have both had fevers without any other symptoms. I have been to the dr. before and there is typically nothing that can be done. Now if they get a fever, I will give it a few days to see if they get better or worse. And I will watch to see how they are acting. They can run a fever up to 103 and still be running around the house playing. I did take my 3 yr old to urgent care about 6 months ago because his temp was up to 104 and wasn't going down and he was very lethargic. I would probably give it a couple of days if it were my kids.

Try giving him a cool bath. If there are no other symptoms, I woudn/t worry too much, unless the fever continues for more than a couple of days. Plus, Children's Motrin is a great fever reducer.

I am surprised at the number of responses that say "don't worry". These little ones usually can't explain what a stomach ache or sore throat is, so it may not sound like one to you when they do explain what they feel (my tummy tickles, my throat feels funny). A fever for any period of time is always a concern for me and 101.7 is high enough to be concerned. At a minimum, call your doctor or talk to the nurse about the fever.

My son (7yrs at the time) complained about sore throat and ran a LOW fever for 4 days. Then I took him to the doc and discovered it was STREP. And because I don't run to the doc for nothing, when it happened again this past November (he is now 8yrs), I didn't take him to the doc for 4 days and it turned out to be strep again! Lesson learned.

My 6 yr old daughter will run a fever and not have any other signs of being sick, but I take her to the doc because of her having RSV at 4 months old. She is one of those that will run until she drops even if she is sick.

Don't use the "no other symptoms" as a basis of taking to the doctor or not. TAKE HIM TO THE DOCTOR. It could be something serious.

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