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When to Go to the Emergency Room for a Fever

A fever is an increase in your body’s base temperature and is usually symptomatic of an underlying illness or condition. A fever is your body’s natural response to threats like an infection and usually goes away after a day or two. Because a fever is uncomfortable for patients, doctors often prescribe over-the-counter drugs like acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve) to alleviate discomfort. Children and teens should never be given aspirin to treat a fever alone because it can be linked to Reye’s syndrome.

When a fever doesn’t go down after a few days in adults or when it is present in very young children, you need to know when to go to the emergency room or talk to your primary care physician.

Talk to your physician or visit the emergency room for a fever when:

  • A child 3 months or younger has a fever, even if no other symptoms are present
  • A fever of over 101 degrees is present in adults/seniors
  • A fever lasts over 2-3 days

Common causes of a fever are:

  • Viral infection
  • Pneumonia
  • Cellulitis
  • Urinary Tract Infection
  • Gastroenteritis (stomach flu)
  • Kidney Infections

If you or a loved one needs to go to the emergency room, call 911 immediately. Ascension Crittenton hospital’s emergency department is a no-wait ER, which means you won’t wait in a lobby. Ascension Crittenton’s emergency department is also accredited as both a Primary Stroke and Chest Pain Center.When you need to seek emergency care, you need to know your hospital is equipped and ready for your emergencies, whatever they are.


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