What Causes Fever in Children?

What causes fever in children?

Fever remains the most common concern prompting parents to present their child to the emergency department. Fever has traditionally been defined as a rectal temperature over 100.4 F or 38 C.

Fever itself is not life-threatening unless it is extremely and persistently high, such as greater than 107 F (41.6 C) when measured rectally.

Fever may indicate the presence of a serious illness, but usually a fever is caused by a common infection, most of which are not serious. The part of the brain called the hypothalamus controls body temperature. The hypothalamus increases the body’s temperature as a way to fight the infection. However, many conditions other than infections may cause a fever.

Causes of fever include:

  • allergies
  • bacterial infections, such as scarlet fever, or rarely, rheumatic fever (both related to “strep throat”)
  • illicit drugs
  • illnesses related to heat exposure
  • medications
  • rarely, inflammatory diseases, like juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
  • viral infections, like influenza (the “flu”)

It is recommended that you consult a health care provider to determine the appropriate treatment for the fever of your child.

Keyword: child fever; fever toddler; fever toddlers

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.