Fever Red Flags
If your 5-year-old is unresponsive or doesn't make eye contact, get medical attention right away. This could be the sign of a more serious medical problem. If your child seems irritable or uncomfortable, you should consult his doctor. The duration of the fever matters, too. A 5-year-old with a fever lasting three days or longer should see his pediatrician, recommends MayoClinic.com. If his temperature is 102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, he should also see his doctor. This will help rule out underlying problems.
A 5-year-old with a fever and no other symptoms might benefit from a fever reducer if her temperature is 102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, notes the Mayo Clinic. However, you should never administer a fever reducer, like acetaminophen, without consulting your pediatrician first. If your 5-year-old has a low-grade fever, and no other symptoms, your doctor might advise against using a fever reducer. Use of these medications in children with low-grade fevers might prolong illness. Never give your 5-year-old aspirin -- this medication is used in adults only. A child who takes aspirin is at risk for developing a potentially fatal condition called Reye's Syndrome.
If your child's doctor determines his fever is caused by a bacterial infection, she might prescribe an antibiotic. Administer the medication as prescribed. If he starts to feel better, finish the prescription. Stopping a prescription early might make your child's illness worse. Don't take antibiotics for viral infections. This type of medication isn't effective for treating viruses, according to MayoClinic.com.
During a fever, keep your child cool. Dress her in light clothing. Provide a light blanket and avoid heavy comforters. You can also give her a lukewarm bath. If she shivers during the bath, remove her from the water. Shivering causes an increase in body temperature. Encourage your 5-year-old to rest. Physical activity generates body heat, which elevates your child's temperature.