April 19, 2011,
K.M. asks from Anchorage, AK on April 12, 2008
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!
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!
E.B. answers from Seattle on April 12, 2008
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!!
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A.J. answers from Seattle on April 13, 2008
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!
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M.B. answers from Seattle on April 12, 2008
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,
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K.W. answers from Anchorage on April 13, 2008
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!
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M.P. answers from Portland on April 12, 2008
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.
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K.M. answers from Seattle on April 14, 2008
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.
M.L. answers from Seattle on April 13, 2008
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.
T.V. answers from Washington DC on April 19, 2011
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!