When should you worry about your childs fever?

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PHOENIX – There’s nothing scarier for a parent than a sick child, especially when the child is running a fever.

As frightening as it can be, fever is one way the body fights off infections.

In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recently came out with a new report saying parents should treat every single fever. The co-founder of the study said parents tend to over-treat, even waking kids to give them fever-reducing medications.

Still, there are times when concern it warranted. Kaley O’Kelley sat down with Dr. Michael McQueen, founder of Good Night Pediatrics, to go over some general guidelines.

“Fever is not a primary illness. Fever is not always a bad thing,” McQueen said, referring to the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation. “In fact, there’s growing evidence that fever can be a good thing.”

The best thing you can do is let your child sleep and get them to drink plenty of water.

McQueen said you might want to consider calling your child’s pediatrician if your infant is younger than 2 months, if the fever climbs above 103 degrees or is the fever lasts more than a day or two.

“Infants under 2 months are relatively immune compromised and may be at more risk for serious complications from the infection that’s causing the fever, not the fever itself,” McQueen said.

Rather than worrying about the fever itself, McQueen says you should watch your child for other symptoms, include a stick neck or severe headache, limpness, lethargy and wheezing of difficulty breathing. These can be signs of a serious infection.

“Most fevers actually are benign,” McQueen explained. “Most fevers last 24 hours or less. Most fevers are caused by viruses for which antibiotics don’t do any good whatsoever.

“If the fever lasts longer than two to three day, that’s a sign that perhaps you should contact your physician.”