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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:47 pm
Fever is usually a sign that the body is trying to fight off an infection or other illness. In a child, however, even if the body temperature is above or below an adult's normal temperature of 98-point-six degrees, it's not necessarily an indication that the child's sick. When you take a child's temperature, make sure you use a thermometer, rather than just feeling the forehead or other body part. There are many different types of thermometers available. Some give a quick and easy reading just by placing the device inside the child's ear. You'll get the most accurate reading by taking a rectal temperature. Any fever in an infant younger than three months is cause to call your pediatrician. For older children a temperature of 101 may be a sign to contact a healthcare professional to see if the fever and accompanying symptoms warrant a doctor's visit. If the fever's caused by a bacterial infection, antibiotics may be prescribed, or a children's pain reliever may be recommended. Be sure not to ever give a child aspirin, only children's aspirin substitute, and make sure it's the proper dosage, according to the child's age and weight. Aspirin given to children has been shown to result in a potentially fatal disease known as 'Reye's (RIZE) syndrome.' Children with fever should also should get plenty of rest and drink lots of liquids, so they don't get dehydrated.

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