20 answers

Updated: URGENT - Unknown Cause of Spiked Fever in 2 Year Old.

Let me give you a background over the past week.

Monday of last week my daugter presented with red hives/bumps all over her torso. We were unsure of the cause...she did wear a new shirt that was not washed first but there was no rash on the back just the front. She did eat eggs for lunch but ate them before and no prob. I also found that she drank from an old juice cup that she hid and had mold growing in it.

The Ped. feels it was an allerigic reaction to the mold in the juice cup and told me to give her Benadrill...which we did and the next day rash gone!

She turned 2 on Sat and we had a birthday party. Healthy and normal child...

SUNDAY - she was fussy and she is teething so we gave her Childrens Motrin before putting her to bed. She wimmpered a little through the night and woke up at 3 am and played in her crib. This is VERY UNLIKE HER...she sleeps like a rock through the night.

MONDAY - 7 am she wakes up screaming...she is fire hot and red from head to toe. Rectal temp of 104.5. I gave her 0.8 tylenol and rushed her to the ER.
By the time we got there it was 45 min later and the Tylenol worked and her temp was normal. They gave me a perscrip for Amox. and told me to wait 24 hours before giving it to her to see if she gets better with the Tylenol/Motrin alt. She wont eat and doenst want to drink. We are pushing her to drink pedalight. She is very listless...

We alternated motrin and tylenol but everytime she took a nap she spiked a fever and we would have to cool her down in a bath. She had another listless night and fever would not go away.

TUES - 8 am she wakes up screaming and another spiked fever Ear Temp of 105.6. We gave her Tylenol 1.6 mg and another bath. We called the Ped and took her in. Once ariving her temp forhead scan was 103.6. Still doesnt want to eat or drink and is starting to become dehidrated.

Strep test - Normal
Ears - Clear
URIN - Normal
No discharge from nose or eyes
No cough, sneeze or congestion

Only a little redness in the throat but no concern.

We just had blood work done and awaiting the results.

Apon getting home her ear temp is now 106.1! We gave more Tylenol 1.6 mg and another bath...lowered the ac to 73 degrees and stripped her down to a diaper. She is now down for a nap which worries me because I know her fever will rise!

What would you do?

We are considering taking her to the ER and having them admit her until they get her fever under controll and diagonsis.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Update 2: Today our baby girl is a TON BETTER!!! With us keeping the house cool, her in a diaper, Motrin every six hours and three cool baths a day - her temp has been in control. She still didnt want to eat or drink today but we did manage to get her to eat french fries. This is a no, no on a normal day but today we didnt care as long as she ate something! By dinner time she started to come back to our little bundle of joy! She is running around and smiling and giving tons of hugs and kisses. She even ate dinner...not all but some. Half a yogurt cup and 3/4 a pasta pick up. She finished all her pedilight (sp?) and most of her milk. The antibiotic shot must of worked.

The blood and urin cultures came back NEG. so they have no idea what caused her to spike such high fevers. What ever it was darn near wiped out all her white blood cells...that her body was working so hard to produce more.

It was so scary to see her so hot that her body was beat red from head to toe. The ear thometer read 99.9 just around her body that was how hot she was! I just knew my baby was cooking brain cells!

We are so happy to have her spunky happy self back! Thank you to all who have prayed for our little girl!!! I believe in the power of prayer and it means the world to us that strangers who dont know us care.

God Bless you all!

A Greatful Mommy

Update 1:
Her blood work came back and her WBC (white blood count) was low. They are still unsure what is causing her to be sick. So they gave her an antibiotic shot to make sure that it isnt bacterial because they dont want it to spread to her brain and cause menigitis. They had to do another catheter on her (twice in less than 4 hours) poor baby. This was tramatic for me...so i took my husband the second time to the doctor to help me hold her down for this. I was in tears, heart broken & guilty for holding her down and causing her pain.

We are still waiting on the blood cultures and urin cultures. If they come back neg than there is nothing more we can do but give her motrin every 5 1/2 hours...if we wait for six she spikes again. Keep our house at 74 degrees and a lot of baths to keep her body temp down. If the tests are pos. then we go back in for more antibotic shots and a perscription.

ON ANOTHER NOTE: It was a good thing that I waited to get the perscription for antibiotics filled. Because it would of messed up all of the blood and urin tests they were doing. ER doctors I am starting to figure out know nothing...last time they checked her ears and said she was fine and that she had bronchitis and gave her antibiotics. 2 days later I take her to her Ped. because she isnt better and turns out she had a double ear infection and that the ER didnt clean out her ears to see it. She had to go on another antibiotic for that.

So if you have to go to the ER for something like this...dont rush to fill perscrip. see the doctor ASAP and verify first. Good thing we did!

I will keep you posted on the LAB RESULTS.

More Answers

Hi there,

I know how scary it can be when a little one has high fever, however, high fever is usually far less indicative of a major illness than a low-grade fever. My pediatrician's website has a great summation of fevers and what to do an not do, http://clinicalpediatrics.com/index.php?action=website-vi.... Also, their website does stress that alternating Tylenol and Motrin is not known to be safe and should not be done.

I hope your little one feels better very soon and you all can breathe easy and get some much needed rest.

1 mom found this helpful

It is probably viral. The ER can not really do more than you are already doing and I doubt they will admit for a diagnosis only. They will repeat all the doctor did at the office with probably the same results. If the doctor thought she needed to be hospitalized, then he would have already done so. She also has to meet insurance criteria to be admitted. And she probably doesn't. A fever of unknown origin that is controlled with meds, and the baby still taking some fluids is not enough for admitting in most hospitals I know. I know that you are scared and concerned but as long as she is drinking fluids, keep alternating the tylenol and motrin. Sometimes you just have to ride these things out. The hospital will not be able to do more than you are doing. And it is awful expensive for a little support. With alot more sicker people all congregated in the same spot with bigger and badder bugs than she has!
Basically, the temperature is her bodies way of dealing with some type of infection and is not the cause of the problem. Somewhere there is a virus or bacteria, and her little body is doing exactly as God intended to get rid of the intruder. Let the body do it's job. Unless my kids temp is above 102, I don't medicate for temp. It stops the bodies natural processes for getting rid of bugs. You may never know what is causing it, even with a hospitalization. The sleep is not causing her fever, but conveniently the medicine wears off when she happens to be asleep. Just give fluids and alternate medicine. And hope for a fast recovery. You are doing great. No more than the hospital would be able to do.
Good luck,
L., RN

1 mom found this helpful

I had something similar happen to my son when he was about 25 months old. Scary high spikey fevers (103-105 degree range) randomly over about a 3 week period, with no other obvious symptoms. After multiple doctor's visits they finally concluded it was viral and would run its course. Our ped recommended we rotate Tylenol and Motrin every 4 hours which we did, and that controlled the fever (until it came back again and again). No clue what the virus was, but if it was that it apparently affects kids in very different ways as my daughter never got it and was around him constantly. Good luck, obviously go to the ER if you think you need to.

I agree about avoiding the ER, if possible, because of the stuff that goes around there, but if I were you I would call the pedi and ask if she can get some iv fluids there, at least. If she gets dehydrated, she will be listless and it will be very difficult to get her fever down. She needs fluids desperately. If she doesn't eat, I wouldn't worry. My son has gone days without eating and then when he's better he makes up for it.

Remember, the ear temp is going to be different than the others- there should be a chart or something inside the ear therm that says what is "normal" and it's a degree or two above what a different therm would read, I believe. We bought the temporal therm (like they use at the docs) and I believe it works best (though we usually take the average out of three tries). They're under $40 at Walgreens, if I remember correctly. I have the ear one too, but it doesn't seem to coincide with the Dr's office (ear is always higher). I mean, why would the dr's office say 103.6, then at home it's 106.1? The therm may be off and you're getting scared for nothing, you know? I would be real scared with a 106 temp, too.

Unfortunately the temperature almost always rises when they sleep- same thing happened with my son. It should go down within an hour or so of waking, though.

I would guess that she probably picked up a virus at the party and there's nothing much to be done about it, unfortunately. I feel for you- been there. It's the worst, seein' your little one go through all that.

Couple thing to remember on fevers- she'll want to be naked, but don't let her, cuz then she'll start to shiver and that can make the fever worse. Keep one layer on her (a sheet or t-shirt, shorts, whatever). She'll get hot and want it off, but it's not good. At least that's what I read.

Be prepared that you may not get a diagnosis. They'll probably conclude that it's a virus, as it usually is.

Sorry if I couldn't be more positive.

Make sure they test for viral meningitis, that presents with a fever and a rash.

U need to follow ur mommastincts.
IF u feel that is what u need to do then do it.
Her little body is fighting something. But with her drinking and eating so little...
How long is it going to take to get the results from the DR?
U are doing all you can to fight the fever.
I hope she feels better soon.

Has she had the measles vaccine? Most dostors today don't recognize a case of measles because most children have had the vaccine.
You and she are in my prayers.

Hi T., I will be praying for your little girl. I hope everything goes well. That is so scary. Keep us posted.

i know it's scary, i have a child that spikes fevers on occassion, he usually has pneumonia with NO symptoms of it though - no cough, etc. i would be VERY hesitant about demanding hospitalization or going back to the ER, hospitals are notorious for antibiotic resistant infections, and your child is going to rest/recover better at home. i would rotate tylenol and motrin(you can give them together too, but the motrin is every 6 hours, not 4 like tylenol), as long as the fever is responding to the fever reducing meds, you are ok for the time being. wait on the bloodwork and get a second opinion from another doctor if you want. good luck and hope your little one is feeling better soon!


I completely understand your fears! We went through this when my baby girl was only about 4 months old! She didn't have the rash, but was listless, irritable, and not nursing very well. She spiked an extremely high fever (in the 105-106) range and it would go down some with the help of Tylenol (I couldn't use Motrin b/c she was so young). Her ped. originally thought it was a kidney infection - blood work, catheter (twice), and urinalysis - all negative. WBC was high. He sent me over to Cook's immediately - he thought menigitis. Scared me to death!!! We got right into Cook's. They ran blood work, another urinalysis, chest x-rays - all negative (with the exception of the high WBC). They finally decided to do a spinal tap. I was devastated, scared to death, and felt so horrible! Our pastor even came to the ER to be with us and pray over our sweet baby! It was awful watching the spinal tap! They ended up giving her an antibiotic shot and observed her for a few more hours. After 10 hours in the ER, we were sent home with instructions to give her Tylenol every 4 hours and see the ped. the next day for another antibiotic shot and re-check. The fever was still up and down and she was still out of it, but within a few days, she was fine. We never knew what it was - which, to me, is still scary. But, she is fine and the doctors think whatever it was, they caught and treated it so early that it didn't have time to present in any test that was run. I hope all is well with your baby. I know it is frightening! Trust your instincts and know that your baby is in God's hands:)

Call your doc and demand she be admitted for observation. Better to be safe than sorry. Just my opinion. Fever of unknow origin's need to be checked out. If she is not eating or drinking, she needs observation.

It could be Roseola - which causes extremely high temps, but is quite common and is nothing to be concerned with. There are typically no other symptoms. My son had it a few months ago. I was freaking out over the temps over 104. It lasted several days and then the fever just disappeared over night. If it is that, it is very common to have a rash as soon as the fever breaks - so don't worry if that happens. I was actually very happy to see the rash since it basically confirmed it was indeed Roseola and nothing else. I will keep your little one and your family in my prayers. God Bless.

I would go to the ER at Children's Medical Center or Cook Children's and raise heck until they give some answers. Our daughter had Roseola and went undiagnosed the entire time she was in the hospital (3 days). The good thing is that we were at the hospital during that time and even though we were awaiting lab results during that time, she was also being constantly hydrated through an IV and I felt better just knowing dr.s were close by. a day after the fever broke the rash hit, her pediatrician automatically pinpointed Roseola; and then she was fine, although still contagious for a week. Better safe than sorry, I would at least call your dr./nurse on call and inquire again, that fever is worrisome. Best of luck.

If her fever is NOT responding to the medicine and she is dehydrated, absolutely call your doctor and ask him his reasons for not wanting to admit her. He can admit her without an e.r. visit. If he doesn't want to do anything but wait and he knows all of the above, demand something to be done. If he didn't do anything, I would go to the e.r. or call 911 if that is an option for you and he wouldn't be her doctor anymore. If he didn't want to do anything and then he does, I still would be looking for a new doctor when you can get the chance.

When my son was 4 he did something similar to this, but, he tested positive for strep throat, and already had scarlet fever within 24 hours. He had a coated tongue that changed to a tongue with raised red tastebuds resembling a strawberry. He never got the body rash.
His throat/tonsils looked like a piece of raw meat.

Is she taking antibiotic and still this sick?
Try your best to give her liquids or a popsicle or something. Being dehydrated will make her feel bad in itself. Is she having bm's? Does she look like her tummy is hurting (thinking of bad juice). Ask her where her booboo is, hopefully nothing will be hurting.

I will pray for her and I know everyone else will as well.
God Bless the little one

I will pray that your little girl is okay. If it were me and the fever kept spiking like that,I would head to the ER and demand additional test or overnight stay, so professional staff can check her at the height of the temp rise. Please let us know what you find out. We as mom never know when we may encounter something like this.

Hi T., just wanted to tell you that I am praying for you and your family. So scary! Just wanted to give my opinion for what it's worth, I know people are scared of aspirin, but when a fever is up so high like that, it's possibly causing brain damage as well as ear damage. Aspirin will get that fever down in a hurry. I know someone that has ear loss because of a high fever and no one wants that. Tylenol is for the birds. But anyway, just wanted to share that, you are doing all you can, unfortunately we have to let the docs figure everything out. Keep us updated on her progress.

Have you checked into the back of her throat?? My daughter gets strep almost every year and her first pediatrician would give her strep tests and say that wasn't it. Actually it was. Think about it, those tests are not easy to give to anyone, yet alone young children who do not sit stll while having a swab stuck down their throat. I checked into her mouth and could actually see the infection there- what looks like two swabs of cotton in the back of her throat. Needless to say she has a new pediatrician now. If this isn't the case- have you checked into Roseala? I hope that your child's condition improves very soon.

Well, fever = infection. The bloodwork should determine which leukocytes are high, and help determine the source. But, anytime fever is that high a child should be at/in the ER. I'd say at that age at 103.+ especially if Motrin is not alleviating it. I would have first thought ears, but you said clear, my next thought-throat with the symptoms of fever, and not wanting to eat or drink that is very common, I know the strep was neg. but they might try it again. The rash could be associated with fever, did she have it prior to the rash that you know of? It also could be a symptom of many other things. At home, I put my kids in a tub in addition to the Ibuprofen when they run fever, but your daughter's temperature is extremely high. If she is dehydrated, she will need an IV drip anyway, and I'd definately have her in the ER at 106 fever, that is extremely dangerous. Keep us informed. Hope she gets well!

My son had roseola that gave him high (104.7) temps for about 4 days that didn't respond much to tylenol (we could get him down a few degrees, but not under 100). But the rash didn't appear until the fever broke.

A friend's daughter had mono that had these horrible fever spikes as well. They're likely testing for that with the blood tests. Mono is actually quite common in preschoolers. Some react worse than others. Your main concern is dehydration. If she's listless, you'll want her admitted if only for fluids.

It does sound scary. Let us know what you find out!

My son who is 15 months old just went through that. He was teething, was not eating and for several days had a fever of 103-104. Which is way for him because he doesn't hardley ever run a fever. Even with ear infections he never ran a fever. So I was freaking out he got a few bites on his legs and I thought maybe that could have been the problem. I called the on call nurse and she said if he wasn't vomitting then don't worry. Really not so easy when your child is burning up!!!. I took him in they couldn't find anything wrong with him all test neg. as well. I kept alternating Tylenol/Motrin for a couple of days (most doctors do not like you to do this for more than a day), but it was the only thing that would work. Finally after 3 days he had two new teeth pop in. All the doctors and nurses said it could not be teething, but what else was it? If it was a virus my 3 year old would have caught it and she didn't. When the fever was low he was fine. When the fever was high he just layed around. He would not eat at all or drink. It took about another 4-5 days for him to start eating again. He lost 2 pounds in a week. Rub on her gums to see if you can feel any teeth coming in. I hope she gets to feeling better soon I know how scary this is.

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