Over the last several weeks, our region has been hit with a particularly harsh cold and flu season with many people running a fever. Young kids don’t always realize they have a fever, so it’s important for patents to be on the lookout for the signs and symptoms this time of year.

Our health expert, Rose Melendez, RN, offers tips on how to take your child’s temperature and what to do if your kid is running a fever. 

What is the first thing you should do if you suspect your child has a fever?

Nurse Rose: If your child starts feeling sick, you should always take their temperature with a thermometer. Running a fever is a sign that the body is fighting off an infection.

What’s the best way to take a temperature

Nurse Rose: If your child is 3-years or older, you can take it the temperature by mouth or armpit.

By mouth:

  • Wait 15 minutes after eating/drinking
  • Place the tip of the thermometer under the tongue towards the back of the mouth.
  • Keep the mouth closed

Under the armpit:

  • Place the tip of the thermometer under the armpit against the skin
  • Hold the arm against the thermometer

If your child is under 3 years old, take the temperature rectally:

  • Apply lubricant onto the tip of the thermometer
  • Insert the tip into the rectum
  • Keep the thermometer still by holding it with one hand and holding the child’s bottom with the other hand.
  • Clean after every use.

What temperature is considered a fever?

Nurse Rose: A temperature greater than 100.4 degrees F or 38 degrees C is a fever.

How should you treat a fever?

Nurse Rose: If your child has a fever:

  • See your pediatrician,
  • According to your pediatrician’s directions and medication instructions, give Tylenol (acetaminophen) based on the child’s weight,
  • Remove unnecessary clothing to help lower the temperature,
  • Have the child drink lots of fluids,
  • Retake temperature one hour after giving medication,
  • If there is still a fever, give Advil (ibuprofen) with direction from your pediatrician and medication instructions, and
  • If fever continues, take your child to the pediatrician or the Emergency Department.

Remember, you know your child best! If something doesn’t seem right, seek immediate medical attention.

Need emergency care? Adventist HealthCare has you covered! You can even make online appointments at one of our three Urgent Care Centers.

Additional Health Tips from Rose

Find more family health tips online or tune into WGTS 91.9 FM every Wednesday at 7:40 a.m. to hear Rose live.

Rose Melendez, RN

Rose Melendez, RN

Head of Emergency Department

Rose Melendez, RN is the head of the Emergency Department and Nursing Administration at Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center. Tune into WGTS 91.9 FM every Wednesday at 7:40 a.m. to listen to Nurse Rose live on the radio.

Need your flu shot? Visit Adventist HealthCare Urgent Care. Walk-ins and online appointments available today.