How Long Does a Typical Fever Last?

September 14, 2023

We can’t believe we are already in the full swing of back-to-school season in the Charlotte area, and with that, we assume you have already seen at least one illness make its way through your house.

That’s just the nature of this time of year when students come back under one building once more. Most contagious illnesses are usually just minor inconveniences and cause mild symptoms, one of which is a fever.

If your child spikes a fever, don’t immediately panic! Fevers are a natural response to illness. Read on as our AFC Urgent Care Ballantyne team explains more about fevers and their benefits.

What Temperature Is Considered a Fever?

Our bodies aren’t stuck at 98.6 degrees all day every day. We actually fluctuate a little up and down based on the time of day and our current activity level. This is why fevers aren’t diagnosed until your temperature reaches 100.4 degrees or higher and stays there.

This is just your body’s natural immune response to an illness! Viruses and bacteria have a harder time replicating and spreading in warmer temperatures, so this process actually helps slow down the illness while allowing your body to fight it more efficiently. This is why we often recommend letting your child’s fever run its course if he or she isn’t feeling miserable.

Illnesses That Can Cause Fever

  • Influenza
  • Ear infections
  • Chickenpox
  • Respiratory infections
  • Urinary tract infections

When Should I Bring My Child to the Doctor for a Fever?

Most fevers only last a few hours to a couple of days at most. Once your child’s body starts to overcome the infection, his or her temperature should drop back to normal pretty quickly. In the meantime, keep your child dressed in light layers, offer cool water and encourage rest. If he or she is experiencing additional symptoms due to the fever, certainly offer OTC medication to help bring it down.

Dangerous fevers are much less common but can be serious situations if they occur. If your child’s temperature reaches 103 degrees or higher, won’t be treated with medication or keeps coming back, it is time to visit with your care team. We can help dig deeper into a more accurate diagnosis so your child can start feeling better right away.

Symptoms of a Serious Fever

  • Sensitivity to light
  • Confusion
  • A spreading rash
  • Seizures
  • Stiff neck

Fevers can be frustrating to deal with at home. Come see us at AFC Urgent Care Ballantyne any day of the week.

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