FEVER AND MEDICINE

What is fever?

  • Fever is your body’s normal reaction to an infection – it is a good thing.
  • Fever is a temperature of greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • A temperature less than 100.4 is normal and does not need to be treated.

What is the best way to take a temperature?

  • Rectal temperatures are the most accurate and should always be used in babies under 2 months.
  • An underarm temperature in children greater than 2 months of age may be used. You do not need to add or subtract a degree.
  • Ear thermometers are notoriously inaccurate. Should I be afraid of a fever? NO!!
  • Fever will not cause brain damage and will not hurt your child whether it is 101 or 104. Remember, fever is a good thing. It is your body fighting an infection.
  • How your child looks and feels is more important than the number on the thermometer. Bring the fever down and then assess how your child is feeling.

Why should I treat a fever?

  • While your child has a fever, they may feel achy and tired.
  • Treating the fever may make your child feel better in the interim, although it will not make the infection go away.

What medicines can I use to treat a fever?

  • Tylenol is the brand name for Acetaminophen.
  • Motrin and Advil are brand names for Ibuprofen.
  • Children less than 6 months of age can be given Tylenol every 4 hours as needed.
  • Children 6 months of age and older can be given Tylenol every 4 hours or Ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil) every 6 hours as needed.
  • Tylenol and Ibuprofen are two different medicines. They shouldn’t be given at the same time. Tylenol needs to be given every 4 hours as needed.
  • Ibuprofen needs to be given every 6 hours as needed. Because they are different medicines, they can be given closer together, you can alternate between them every 3 hours.
  • Tylenol and Ibuprofen take approximately 30 minutes to work. Give the medicine time to work.

Fever Dosing Chart

****Do NOT give any medications to any child under 2 months of age without first consulting a physician. ****
Acetaminophen (Tylenol) Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil)
Every 4 hours as needed
Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil)
Every 6 hours as needed
***Do NOT give to infants under 6 months of age***
Pounds (lbs) Kilograms (kgs) Children’s Liquid (160mg/5mL) Chewable Tablets (80mg) Junior Strength (160mg) Adult Tablet (325 mg) Infant Drops (50mg/1.25mL) Children’s Liquid (100mg/5mL) Chewable Tablets (50mg) Junior Strength(100mg) Adult Tablet (200mg)
 10-16  5-7  2.5 mL  1  1.25 mL   2.5 mL  1
 17-27  8-12  5 mL  2  1  2.5 mL   5 mL  2  1
 28-38  13-17  7.5 mL  3  1.5  7.5 mL  3  1.5
 39-49  18-22  10 mL  4  2  1  10 mL  4  2  1
 50-60  23-27  12.5 mL  2.5  12.5 mL  5  2.5
 61-71  28-32  15 mL  2  15 mL  3
 72-82  33-37  17.5 mL  3.5  17.5 mL  3.5
 83-93  38-42  20 mL  4  2  20 mL  4  2

Call our office if:

  • Any child less than 2 months of age has a fever.
  • Fever persists longer than 72 hours.
  • Fever does not respond to Tylenol or Ibuprofen.