Children - Fevers Colds and Flu - Dr Kimberly Hoffman


Pediatric care for children

An article published earlier this year by the LA Times tried to answer this question: Are Fevers Dangerous?

"Fever phobia” is a term that is commonly used to describe a parent's fear of fevers and how they can affect their child. The vast majority of parents and caregivers for children believe that fevers are dangerous and it is commonly thought that a high fever will cause long term irreversible physical damage. While a very high fever can certainly be an emergency situation, not all fevers are the same.

Many scientific research has focused on the issue of fevers and a review of the published studies quickly show that fevers are grossly misunderstood. For example:

  • One study found that the temperature that parents and caregivers considered to be a fever ranged from 97 to 105 degrees.
  • Another study found that 25% of adults would give a child a fever-reducing medication for a temperature below 100.

So what exactly is a fever and how do I know if it is a problems?

A fever is defined as an oral temperature above 99.5 degrees or a rectal temperature above 100.4 degrees. Many integrative doctors specializing in pediatric will agree that a fever around 102-103 degrees is the body's attempt at ridding the system of the infection.

If fevers are an immune stimulant, than they really do have a purpose greater than instilling fear into us. They are one of the ways your body attempts to combat and excrete the pathogenic organism, such as those that cause bacterial or viral infections.

There are several key elements relating to fevers and the immune system that should not be overlooked:

  • Fevers increase white blood cell production
  • Fevers increase the production of antibodies
  • They stop the viruses from replicating
  • They help to stop the production of bacterial colonies
  • Fevers may actually be able to shorten the duration of an illness

Bottom line: Fevers can be life-threatening and serious if very high.

It is important to discuss your child's condition with their doctor and it is important to be seen in the office for an exam. As long as your medical provider, you and your child are comfortable with the fever, and as long as it doesn't reach beyond the "optimal range" and into the danger zone, than it may be beneficial to helping the body overcome the infection. Children under the age of 3 months with a fever should always see a doctor.

Our doctors can thoroughly examine your child and determine how significant your child's fever is, and based on this assessment can give you a supportive treatment plan to nurture and care for your child.

Some key signs and symptoms that would require a doctors visit for your child:

  • Fever
  • Cough (productive or unproductive)
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Swollen glands

If you are interested in setting up an appointment to have Dr Kimberly Hoffman evaluate your child, or if your child is suffering from the signs and symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, we can screen quickly for infections and help your child get back to feeling like themselves again.

Call: 707-292-8882


Disclaimer: The information contained in this article as well as the content of this website is not intended to be a substitute for clinical evaluation and care provided by your doctor and should in no way be construed as providing medical advice. This information is not the opinion of Tru Health Medicine or any of the Doctors at Tru Health Medicine and is provided for educational information only and is not intended to cure or treat any medical condition. Always consult with your pediatrician or doctor for any advice pertaining to your child's medical care.

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