It’s my understanding that the “danger” fever zone is about 104. Above that and you might need to rush to the ER. But at what temperature do you personally start to panic? What’s your fever threshold for your baby? Vote in our new sick-day poll. (Poll is to your left under Latest TTU Comments.)

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22 Responses to Sick-day

  1. mom2four says:

    It depends on the child. My sons can run low-grade fevers with no problems (~101-102). I sponge them around 102, and give Tylenol/Advil at 102.5-103. My daughter, however, tends to skip 101-103 and go straight from 100 – 104, so I give her Tylenol at 99.9, and Advil 2 hours later.

  2. hannah says:

    i dont so much panic as just feel awful for them. and i pretty much never take collettes temperature the “right” way. i just cant do it, i dont want to hurt her. she had a fever for three days over new years and we went to urgent care and they promptly stuck the thermometer up her behind, and she screamed. i wanted to cry myself.

  3. Jamie says:

    My 3 month old daughter once got to the 104 mark and we took her to the Urgent Care facility. They had a 2-hour wait but when the attendent heard she had a 104-degree temperature her jaw dropped and she told us to go to the Emergency Room at the hospital up the road. It kind of freaked us out, so we did. At the ER they put her in triage and gave her a super-size dose of tylenol (a suppository, no less!) to beat the fever down, but we ended up waiting like 5 hours for urine tests and X-rays. Turned out to be an infection, which we successfully battled with bubblegum-flavored antibiotics.

  4. lori says:

    Hannah: Are you kidding me?!!! I thought all the Dr.’s now-a-days are using the thermometers that they stick in your ear and can read your temp in seconds?

  5. Michelle says:

    I may be wrong, but I think that “danger threshold” is lower for infants (such as the three month old mentioned above) than for todders such as Trixie. I was told to start worrying at 101 or 102 when my son was a newborn (he’s 2 weeks older than Trixie.)

    Anyone else told this?

  6. hannah says:

    lori: i know, isnt it awful? it must be backwater kansas or something. i think the nurse saw the distress on my face, and said something doctor-y about it being the most acurate for her age, blah blah.

    michelle, i think you are right, as they get past the super fragile, scary ages the temps can get a little higher. eliot is three and he can terrorize at noromal levels with a temp of 101.

  7. Leslie says:

    My dad is a pediatrician and always insists on rectal temps – I don’t even bother to call him foradvice on how to deal with Graham’s illness until I have the “right” temp. My panic point is when G loses interest in milk. He is *obsessed* with his milk (which happens to be soy milk due to a dairy allergy)and drinks it even when he won’t eat or play. Once we get to the point of no food, no play *and* no milk, I panic irrespective of what the higly reliable rectal thermometer might suggest.

  8. old school hannah says:

    Pediatricians aren’t as freaked out by high fevers as they were when we were kids, which was an incredibly long time ago for me. Nowadays, I believe it’s until they are 3 or so months old that they’re really concerned about any fever, I think b/c of concern about meningitis. After that, I’ve been told, by at least one ped, not to worry about the fever itself unless it hits 106. Worry meaning go to the ER. And even febrile convulsions don’t impress the doctors these days. Our ped in Brooklyn always told us not to bring down the fever, to let it do its work, but I could never stand to see her suffer and always gave her tylenol/motrin. I hope little Trixie beats this bug soon.

  9. hannah says:

    yeah, how do they expect us to sit there and let them be miserable with the glazed over eyes and bright red cheeks? it is so awful, i cant let it run its course either. this last trip to urgent care i explained how the first two days i thought it might just be teething, and the doctor so kindly informs me that there is no medical link between teething and fever. great, so all those times i thought eliot was just teething he was sick?? that makes me feel like an awesome mom!

  10. benmac says:

    I think mom2four probably put it best in that it depends on the child. The younger the baby the lower the fever tolerance. And I think that means this isn’t a particularly well-written or informative poll. I’ll put up a better one when I get more sleep 🙂

  11. kelly says:

    similar to old school hannah’s comment, my pediatrian is unimpressed with how high a temperature is and always goes right to the questions about how my kid is acting (eating? drinking? sleeping? lethargic? etc). I’ve stopped taking temperatures for the most part because my first kid tends to run very high temperatures (104 is not uncommon) and it is pretty obvious from just touching his hands that he is running a fever.

  12. champ says:

    we’ve been told to worry more about how the child is behaving rather than the actual temp. we usually treat at night just so they can try to rest. thanks for your wonderful site!

  13. suzyq says:

    I’ve heard that line from doctors about no link between teething and fever/diarreah/rash, etc. I never believed them. My kids always had a combo of those symptoms with bad teething episodes, and I’ve had that confirmed with many other moms who say the same thing.

  14. Sarah N. says:

    My pediatrician wants to know the rectal temp and says to call and talk to the nurse if it is over 102. They always take Meg’s temp rectally and say the ear thermometer is not accurate enough. I take Meg’s temp rectally b/c strangely enough that is the way she fusses less. I think she just thinks it’s a more intrusive form of diaper change.

  15. Dave says:


    wow what a day you and trixie are having! i haven’t seen here awake/sleep pattern like that since she was a infant! is she rounding the corner tonight or is it still pretty bad?

    hope trixie is getting better,


  16. mom2four says:

    If you are going to redo your poll, you left out the one thing that makes me start to panic about a fever: when she starts hallucinating. That’s one thing that really, really worries me. Luckily, its only happened once, thus my ‘medicate her before the fever hits’ position.

  17. hannah says:

    thanks suzyg, i thought i was going crazy about the teething thing! the doctor totally floored me with that one. i was feeling pretty confident about having a second child, even though you forget everything!! ben it is a good think you have ttu so you can reference it when are saying to yourself, did trixie do that? let me check the archives…

  18. Maddie's Mom says:

    HALLUCINATES?!!! Oh my…I’ve never heard of that. Now I have something new to worry about.

  19. Michelle says:

    As for the fever/teething correlation, our pediatrician also said there was no hard medical evidence for a link, but he also said he dared not argue with every parent that comes in because, anecdotally speaking, almost everyone reports a low-grade temp when teething is at it’s peak. He said regardless of the cause, anything lower than 101 is nothing to worry about and should be left alone to do it’s work.

  20. Nina says:

    Ok, I was feeling left out here cuz I don’t have a kid so I never had to worry about fevers and such, but I do remember going to the hospital with a fever, I think I had just gotten one of those shots and the docs wanted to watch me in case a fever broke out of it or something, I don’t quite remember.

    I do remember hallucinating tho! Strange memory to have from when you were so young. I remember the tacky wallpaper in the room I was in had some weird pattern that was dancing in circles while I stared at it. I was freaked out.

    Fevers are not fun! I’m sorry Trixie is so sick.

  21. marti says:

    My daughter is 6 years old, she always runs somewhat high fevers, sometimes when she just has a cold it will get up to 104!
    The reason why I was looking up the correlation between fever and teething is she is cutting the big molars in the back, top and bottom and also her front permanent tooth is coming in, she has a low grade fever now, and then it goes away. This is weird for us, she also has a slight sore throat. I always panic about fevers, this year, after starting kindergarten she has come down with strep throat twice, and tonsillitis once. So when she had a sore throat this time with not too high of a fever and is acting fine I wondered if it was her teeth.
    What do you all think?

  22. cynfred says:

    Desi’s first fever was when she was around 4 months or so I think. I freaked out and it didn’t get as high as the other babies here. I thin hers got up to 102. But her normal temp is at 97. Her fever didn’t last long though. But I panicked and took her in to see her ped. Luckily wasn’t anything. And her “cold” lasted half a day.