What Does a 102 Fever Mean in a 2-Year-Old?

Last Editorial Review: 1/11/2018

Ask the expert

What are the newest guidelines in treating a 2-year-old with a fever of 102.5 degrees (measured by ear), without any source identified. The child was fully immunized without any health problems and a normal exam with no history of febrile seizures. The child had a fever for 12 hours, was drinking liquids OK and did not look too sick. At what point would you recommend a blood culture and other tests?

Doctor's response

In a child with only temperature who in all other areas looks well without any physical source for fever, most office-based pediatricians would observe that child for 48 hrs without considering lab work up. The likelihood of a viral process is high and certainly higher if the child attends daycare. Assuming that parents are aware of what changes to watch for (following your instructions) many pediatricians would observe the child for now.

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