29 answers

When Do You Take Child to the Hospital?

My son is 19 months old. He has had a temperature for the last few days, hitting over 102 early this morning. TOok him to the pediatrician who said it is a virus, just give him motrin every 6 hours. Just took his temp again (6:30pm) and it was 103.8. At what point do I take him to the hospital? He has never had a temp this high and has only been sick twice before.

3 moms found this helpful

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So What Happened?™

Thank you all for your great advice....Ryan's temp broke during the night. I will remember all of your advice just in case I am in this situation again.

Featured Answers

I'm a first time mom of a 13 month old, but I think after several days of fever and now hitting 103.8 I would probably bring him. My doctor has told me that if a baby is eating and drinking (especially drinking) than at least the fever won't dehydrate him/her. I would especially bring him if he isn't taking fluids and/or seems especially lethargic. Good luck!!

If it is viral there is nothing that the hospital can give you anyway. My ped office always tells me to give both tylenol (every 4 hrs) and motrin (every 6 hrs). I would give tylenol on the even hrs and motrin on the odd. And write on a piece of paper what times so you don't get confused. Also, you can run him a cool bath to help bring down the fever.

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Take him NOW! Let them decide and don't wait. Anything over 102 can cause seizures.

Young children tend to run high temps so I would not be
too concerned about that. That being said, if he is
having problems breathing or in obvious pain that would
warrant a trip to the ER. Just keep in touch with your
pediatician if you are uneasy about things.

IMO 104.00 is high and I'd definitley be calling the on call pediatrician at the very least to let them tell me what to do. The biggest concern is making sure you get fluids in your son so he doesn't get dehydrated with that temp. When it goes high, lighten up his clothin and blankets. You can put him in a cool bath to help bring down the fever or use a cold washcloth on his head. Try fluids first though - you don't want dehyrdation b/c that is dangerous! I've called our on-call pediatrician at all hours of the night and it is very helpful and comforting but Also, my theory is when in doubt take him to the ER - and thats a judgement call based on symptoms but better safe than sorry!

Update us!!!! I hope he is feeling better!

Hi S.
Hope you have already done something for Ryan.
My rule of thumb always was, I take them to the MD, hospital, or to get help when I no longer knew what to do and there was a symptom that was different, and if I had seen the MD a symptom he had not told me was going to happen. It is always better to hear them say "you didn't need to bring him" than "you should have brought him sooner, there is nothing I can do now"
In your particular case, I probably would start by calling the office to see what MD wanted me to do with the new much higher fever. Actually, our ped was available 24/7 and I called him at home three times, and I talked to him personally all three. People tell me that his wife didn't let calls through but I simply told her what was up.
I won't belabor, at least call and see if they are seeing virus fevers that high.
God bless you and give you peace.
K. SAHM married 39 years -- adult children 38,33,&twins 19

Dear S., I can surely see your concern. As a mom of 5 and now 3 grands I can say that the hospital is not a good experience. Temperature goes up to burn out the virus. It is the body's natural way of fighting illness. Yes give your baby motrin. Keep him cool as possible, maybe wet washcloth on his forehead. You can even put him a room temp. bath. Give him liquids, water, juice etc. Keep an eye on fever, if it goes higher than 104 call doctor again. Hopefully it will run its course quickly. Hug him, love him.... my best, Grandma Mary

Personally, I would have already been there....I wouldnt wait a few days. go now mamma

I would call the E/R before bringing him because my daughter had a fever that went as high as 105.1 when she had an ear infection & it didn't seem to be the end of the world w/the dr's. To me it certainly was, but it all depends on the age of the child as to what they consider a dangerous fever.

It is truly about how much faith you have in the your pediatrician - there have been times that I have taken either of my girls to the hospital b/c it all comes down to a judgement call and if I choose to go against their beliefs, that is my choice as their mom. There have been many times that I've walked out of there feeling bad for even bothering, but on the other hand there have been times that it turned out to be more then what was originally thought. Hope this helps a little.

all the suggestions i have read sound really good. the only thing different i would do is call the er if you can't reach your doctor. my daughter ran a high grade fever and it would not be broken, it was in the winter. so i called the er. they told me what to do, i did it, fever still would not be broken. my doc happened to be on duty that night. finally he said bring her in, we got out in the cold her fever broke, but, when we got there he used her for the interns he had there. she had a double ear infection and throat infection. He stated she has an ear infection, so you will not see a throat infection and then said, oh my, you better look at this, because it is rare. well anyway she needed and antibiotic and she was fine, but sometimes the fever is a sign of an infection, or cutting teeth. your son is at the age of these situations, however the er will be aware of any viruses or flus going around. it is better to call, because if they have an epidemic on thier hands, you don't want to subject your son to exposure to something else. Hope he is feeling better now.

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