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Louise Sivak, M.D.
Louise Sivak, M.D., Doctor
Category: Pediatrics
Satisfied Customers: 3499
Experience:  Pediatrician, Board-certified in Ped Hematology/Oncology
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Is 102.5 temperature dangerous for a eight year old child?

Resolved Question:

My eight year old has a fever of 102.5. What temperature does it start to get dangerous and how many hours do I wait between Tylenol and Motrin with a fever this high?

Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Pediatrics
Expert:  Louise Sivak, M.D. replied 7 years ago.


I am sorry your daughter is ill.

The height of fever itself is not "safe" or "dangerous" but I get concerned if any ill child acts too fussy or "out of it" or cannot keep down fluids.

Has your daughter been tested for influenza and/or received the vaccine?

Regardless of the height of fever, you cannot exceed the dose recommended for your daughter's weight for tylenol no more than every 4 hours and Motrin no more than every 6. I do not recommend alternating both medications for more than 48 hours as that can cause stress to the liver where they are both metabolized. Other things you can do to help bring down the fever and make your daughter more comfortable is cool clothes on her forehead and under her armpits. Fevers tend to go up in the evening and decrease some in early morning.

I hope this helps and please tell me if you have more questions.

Hope your daughter feels better soon.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thank you doctor. She is keeping fluids down and is just tired, but alert. I will wait on the meds and put cooler pj's on her. She is/was suppossed to get her flu vaccine on Tuesday. And we have not gone to our doctor as we feel right now it may be the flu but not sure if it is Swine flu. Our pediatrician is off for two weeks, but I will call the fill in doctor tomorrow. She does have a sore throat, chills off and on and was dizzy this morning. She also has severe cough.Is this indicative of the swine flu? The reason I ask is because I also have a six year old and 15 month old in the house who are scheduled to get there flu shots as well on Tuesday.

Expert:  Louise Sivak, M.D. replied 7 years ago.

Your daughter's symptoms definitely sound like influenza not just a "cold" virus but it is impossible to tell whether "regular" flu or H1N1 w/o test (nasal swab) and the test is only 35-70% accurate it seems. The mangement is the same: rest, fever control, lots of fluids. Your other kids have been exposed too, I agree with calling the doctor tomorrow about whether they should get vaccinated. For cough if an over the counter cough medicine helps, you can give it by weight-dose. Please read the labels as some of these contain acetaminophen (tylenol) and you should avoid double-dosing that. Vicks on the chest helps if your daughter will tolerate that.

Best of luck!

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Alright one last question I promise. At what temp is a fever considered dangerous and I should take her to the ER. I always thought 104.5 was the rule of thumb? Thanks for all of your help.

Expert:  Louise Sivak, M.D. replied 7 years ago.

There is no magic number. I care more about the child's level of alertness and comfort. If your daughter's fever is risingabove 103 1-2 hours after a tylenol dose while you're doing all the other things, and you're (understandably) uncomfortable, then you should call her pediatrician for advice (s/he might be able to see her in office not ER). The ER has no fever control measures that you don't except for tylenol suppositories (avail in some drugstores) for kids who can't keep down fluids. Influenza typically causes fever in the 102-104 range - that's one reason people feel so lousy.

Again wish your daughter a speedy recovery.

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