Mon,Wed,Fri 8:00am – 5:00pm After hours:M,W 5:00pm-7:00pm
Tues: 8:00am – 3:00pm
Thurs: 8:00am – 12:00pm
Phone: 480-857-6316
Find Us View map On Call Available 7 days a week

One of the main issues we deal with in pediatrics is fevers in children. Fever has a bad name amongst parents and pediatricians alike but it isn’t the bad guy. Fever is the body’s appropriate response to illness. When there is a virus or bacteria in the body these entities usually cause the release of certain inflammatory factors or proteins that come from our immune system to alert the body to fight off unwanted visitors. These inflammatory factors affect our cells and increase our temperature “set point.” Our set point, 98.6F, was first found in the late 1800s by taking the average of multiple adults’ body temperatures. When our set point increases it allows our body to get mobilized and start fighting off the virus invading our bodies. So suppressing the fever is not always a good thing as the fever is helping our bodies recognize and fight illness.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is always discussing what we call in our business “Fever Phobia.” We believe educating parents on when to worry about fever will help give parents peace of mind when dealing with fevers at home. Overall, we don’t have to treat increased temperature. Fever will not hurt a child and our body will not allow the fever to increase indefinitely, it can be beneficial. It is important to remember fever is a reaction to illness, not the illness itself.
We treat fever only when a child is uncomfortable or not acting normal. If a child has a temperature at any level, whether 99 or 102, if he or she is still active and not affected by it we don’t have to treat it. If the child is not acting normal, is inactive or not eating well because of the fever then treatment is appropriate. The AAP states that studies have shown that both acetaminophen (Tylenol) and Ibuprofen (Motrin) are equally effective to treat fever with Ibuprofen being longer acting than acetaminophen. Alternating Ibuprofen and acetaminophen can be affective to reduce temperature quickly. Equally as effective, however, can be nonmedical treatments like tepid baths or cool compresses.
Overall, fever can be a beneficial effect during illness. If a child is uncomfortable fever reducers including medical and nonmedical treatments are appropriate. Most importantly it is essential to keep children well hydrated and well fed as the body needs to stay strong to fight of disease.