McKnight Pediatrics


General Fever Information

"Kindness is inseparable from healing and good health"
Don Berwick, The Institute for Healthcare Improvement

At any age, if your child has a fever and appears very sick to you, is not acting like herself, not drinking fluids well, is very lethargic, and or disoriented you should call immediately and be prepared to come in. We recommend calling the office if your child has a fever lasting longer than 24-48 hours. Call immediately if your baby is 2 months old or younger and has a rectal temperature of 100° or higher.

We discourage giving cold baths or using cold or alcohol compresses to treat fevers. These measures cool the skin, which causes shivering and ultimately raises the core temperature. It is more helpful to give room temperature fluids to drink. Other measures that are helpful in reducing fever are dressing lightly and being certain that the room temperature is not too high. Often these measures will reduce the temperatures without giving fever reducer. If your child is over 2 months of age and otherwise appears well, it may not be necessary to give fever reducer for fevers less than 102°.

The most commonly used fever reducers are Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen (not recommended for children 6 months of age or younger). These medications work best and are safest when dosed appropriately using your child's weight rather than age. Please refer to our dosage calculator. There is a dosage range for Acetaminophen (10-15 mg/kg dose every 4 hours). We recommend that you start with the lower dose and increase to the higher dose if the temperature does not return to normal. The concentrations of Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen are different and the infant formulations are different from the children's formulations. Using a dispenser other than the one included in the box of medication is not advised as it may cause under or over dosing.

Ibuprofen Dosage Calculator

Ibuprofen should not be given to children younger than 6 months of age.

Infant: 50 mg per 1.25 ml's

Child: 50 mg per 2.5 ml's


Given every 6-8 hours.

Acetaminophen Dosage Calculator

Infant: 80 mg per 2.5 ml's

Child: 160 mg per 5 ml's


Given every 4 hours.