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HaiTa
03/03/2008, 12:16 PM
When Is a Fever Too High? (http://www.fitsugar.com/1082066)

Mon, 03/03/2008 - 2:30am by FitSugar (http://www.fitsugar.com/user/FitSugar)

With the nasty flu bug (http://www.fitsugar.com/883793) making its rounds, there's only so much eating healthy, getting enough rest, washing your hands, getting a flu shot (http://www.fitsugar.com/1037168), and avoiding germs one can do. If you're unlucky enough to get the flu, your body will hike up your body temperature to boil away all those germs. So, is there a point when your temperature can get too high?
http://images.teamsugar.com/files/upl0/1/12981/09_2008/temp.jpgWhen you get the flu, a sudden high fever is totally normal, and it can get as high as 104° F (http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/flu-guide/adult-flu-symptoms), and last for three to four days. The best thing you can do is to rest and drink plenty of fluids (http://firstaid.webmd.com/fever_in_adults_treatment_firstaid.htm), since a fever can cause you to become dehydrated. Don't attempt to cool off your skin with cold packs since they'll just make you shiver, which will end up raising your body temperature. Instead you should alternate between taking Tylenol and ibuprofen every four hours to help reduce your fever. Alternating these meds will help to prevent accidental overdose, and sometimes the combination of the two will be more effective in bringing down your fever.
Fit's Tips: If your fever persists for more than five days, or it goes over 104° F, call your doctor and get some medical advice immediately.
Source (http://legacycreative.gettyimages.com/)


Read Related: body temperature (http://www.fitsugar.com/tags/body+temperature) cold and flu (http://www.fitsugar.com/tags/cold+and+flu) fever (http://www.fitsugar.com/tags/fever) flu (http://www.fitsugar.com/tags/flu) high fever (http://www.fitsugar.com/tags/high+fever) illness (http://www.fitsugar.com/tags/illness) thermometer (http://www.fitsugar.com/tags/thermometer)

35 Comments Add a Comment (http://www.fitsugar.com/1082066#commentform)

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<CENTER>1
That's 40 degrees Celsius for all us non-Americans.
A fever is such an awful feeling, I hate it. Knowing you're burning up, and yet you can't seem to get warm enough, ugh.

</CENTER><TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TD width=15></TD><TD>7 hours 6 sec ago</TD><TD style="FONT-SIZE: 11px" align=right>Report Comment (http://www.fitsugar.com/warn/comment/1082066/2608879/0) </TD><TD width=15></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

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<CENTER>3
same here..too bad i didn't read this before i caught my bug.
i got the same thing twice in a less than month! the first time around i didn't know the difference between aleve and tylenol. i took a bunch of aleve and about 3-4 hours into the day, i got the worst bloody nose..freaked me out! turns out aleve (like aspirin)is a bloodthinner. who would have known? geez.

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ashcwebb (http://www.fitsugar.com/user/ashcwebb) </TD><TD width=10></TD><TD>
oooo...when I got mono in high school, my fever was 42*C. It was awful.




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<CENTER>5
I never knew about that alternating tip. thanks fit!

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<CENTER>6
nice info!

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Renees3 (http://www.fitsugar.com/user/Renees3) </TD><TD width=10></TD><TD><CENTER>7
Good to know. My boyfriend got Horrible flu a couple weeks ago. He couldn't do Anything poor guy. I took a crap load of vitamins and zicam and amazingly Didn't get sick!!

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You have got to be kidding me. Flu shots contain mercury, a potent neurotoxin. As for tylenol and ibuprofin, they have their own risks, like GI bleeding. A fever is a good thing. It is your bodies natural defense mechanism. By reducing the fever, you prolong the duration of your illness. If the fever gets above 104 degrees, then a cold compress works great to keep it from going out of control. Get a chiropractic adjustment. It has been proven to boost your immune system. All of my patients who come in with a cold or flu greatly benefit from it and are healthier faster than those who take pharmaceuticals.


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Stangfriik (http://www.fitsugar.com/user/Stangfriik) </TD><TD width=10></TD><TD><CENTER>9
This is good advice but I wanted to add some more information for everyone. Take it as constructive criticism or a rant LOL
If you have a cold DO NOT LET THE DR PRESCRIBE YOU ANTIBIOTICS!! Colds or more specifically the Flu is VIRAL!!! ANTIBIOTICS KILL BACTERIAL INFECTIONS!! So the next time your Dr says he's gonna give you amoxicillin or any other antibiotic, refuse it. This is the reason why there is a proliferation of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria and the medical community combined with misinformed, uneducated parents are the sole reason for it.
This is directed at those of you who like to run to the hospital at the first sign of the sniffles.
Do not and I beg you, DO NOT run to the ER simply because you or your child has the sniffles or is running a fever.
Of course if the fever spikes above 104F and/or the fever persists for days, then see your Primary Care Physician or go to a clinic NOT THE ER!!!
The ER is called an Emergency Department for a reason. It's for Emergencies!! This is the reason why it's an all day fiasco when going to the ER.
Combine the fact that 95% of the people in the ER don't have a legitimate emergency, you have illiterate nonspeaking illegal immigrant who expect to be treated because it's a county hospital and they have to treat everyone.
So the next time you think about going to the ER, ask yourself, can it wait until the morning or weekday so you can go to a clinic or your primary care?
Also if you end up going to the ER for something that is truly worrisome, look around and count how many people really look like they need to be there and you'll have the reason why you have been sitting there for 6 hours.

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DrGs (http://www.fitsugar.com/user/DrGs) </TD><TD width=10></TD><TD><CENTER>10
Actually rather bad advice. The beginning talks about how fevers boil off the germs. While this is not exactly true, it is true that the fever helps the body fight the infection. The fever is created by the body, not the germ. Taking tylenol or ibuprofen to lower the fever actually interferes with the ability of the body to fight the fever and you will be sick longer. The other advice is good. Go to bed, drink low sugar fluids, and let the fever do its job.

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texasguy (http://www.fitsugar.com/user/texasguy) </TD><TD width=10></TD><TD><CENTER>1
That's odd, they say that it's normal to have a fever, but give you suggestions on how to lower it. Perhaps you have the fever for a reason and you need to let the body do it's thing. I agree, if it stays high for too long, that can be bad, but lowering it simply because it is high doesn't make any sense to me. See this article.
http://www.mercola.com/2001/jun/13/fevers.htm (http://www.mercola.com/2001/jun/13/fevers.htm)

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I understand and appreciate Stangfriik's comments, and gave the same advice to my wife 20 years ago when she called to say our 11 month old son had a fever and was lethargic. (I was out of town on business). We generally erred on the side of not going to the ER, for the reason's Stangfriik mentioned.
Some friends stopped by and saw our son, and gave a needed push to go to the ER, where he was diagnosed with meningitis. Luckily, because of quick work and antibiotics, he's a beautiful 21 yr old today with no hint of that illness. Everyone is not so fortunate, as hearing loss can occur within hours and death afterward.
I don't know where the line is, but when it comes to infants, err on the side of caution.
God bless you all.
ET
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In regards to your information on fever and how it is good for the body to raise the temperature to fight off infection, I find it interesting that you would tell people to alternate drugs to reduce fever. If the fever is supposed to kill the infection, then why wouldn't you just monitor the fever, drink fluids to keep hydrated and let the body kill the infection. It sounds like taking the meds, although can make you feel better in the short run, will only drag the infection on longer because you have dropped the temperature only to have the infection multiply again. I would rather tough it out so I could get back on my feet much faster.
JMHO!!


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<CENTER>4
For someone who may look at this website for accurate information, I wouldn't be suggesting to wait to get medical help when you get to 104* temperature. Could be dangerous. Yes, it's the body's way to fight out infection, but especially in sickly, elderly or very young people who actually have that high of a fever should at least get medical advice for that high of a fever.

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sunshinejo80 (http://www.fitsugar.com/user/sunshinejo80) </TD><TD width=10></TD><TD>

Well the info is cool for most people but for people like me who are allergic to tylenol


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OMG! Do not be an idiot. Whoever said to put a cold compress if you have a fever of 104 degrees has never responded to an emergency and found a dead child whose temperature is 104 and could have survived if his parents gave him some Tylenol. Do not be stupid, be informed, it is your life and the life of your children. Medicine has flaws and so does alternative medicine, everything is not solved by antibiotics or herbs and manipulation either. I have seen extreme cases where a life could have been saved if people had only tried to understand simple first aid. Be informed and utilize your family physician but also read and inform yourself on how to deal with illness and emergencies. There is no excuse to be ignorant about your health, this is your body, your life, the life of your loved ones.

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I agree with the chiropractor about not taking drugs. The other concern is if you are to take tylonal DO NOT MIX WITH IBEPROPHIN. This could cause major health issues including heart attacks. Only take tylonal or ibeprophin( one or another,but not both) every 8 hours to keep from an accidental over dose. Do not take tylonal with any other medicine without doctors approval first. Drink plenty of fluids like water, orange juice and things that inhance electrolites in your body. Soups, jello, and popcycles are great for this. Lower your sugar content and try not to use substitues. Sodas and caffine actually inhance dehydration. Milk and milk products stimulate the sinus cavities and will cause symptons to linger longer and possibly worsen the situation. Plenty of vitamin C, echinacea, colodial silver,and zinc are natural ways to help keep your immune system healthy and fight sicknesses. Remember to follow dosage instructions and doctors instructions for taking any and all meds and vitamins. Hope this helps you now and in the future.
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kevindineen (http://www.fitsugar.com/user/kevindineen) </TD><TD width=10></TD><TD>

If anyone would actually read the post, they do mention that you should let it do its thing, but is seems that if the fever lasts for several days, & if fairly high (102-104), You might want to help get back to a normal level w/ some tylenol.
I had a 103.5 fever last week, & I woke up & couldn't see straight, & had a headache so bad I couldn't sleep.. At that point (day 4 of flu) I took some tylenol just to bring the fever down a bit after I had given it it's time to "do it's thing"
I took literally 700 mg of tylenol, was able to bring my fever down a bit & sleep throught the night, my fever went up slightly the next day but then by friday it was down to normal w/out the help of pils.
But thank god for the tylenol. In moderation it saved me... allowed me to see & sleep.

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I don't know what I've had for the past 48 hours..but my only advice to getting better is to drink plenty of fluids, and sleep...my dad offered the switching back and forth between ibuprofen, and aleve, and it worked..i sweated my fever out..and this morning the only thing I have is a little cough.

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<CENTER>20
I believe you have represented a large audience. However, it was irresponsible of you to present this information without a disclaimer for a huge population who, if following your guidelines, would do major physical damage to themselves (potentially). There are millions of people with chronic illnesses, cancer, COPD, and much more for whom waiting until a temp was over 104 degrees is not only inappropriate, it could be fatal. So, please, present information more globally than just for the people you assume are in good health. Thanks!

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<CENTER>21
I agree with EqualTime. Most of the advice on here is great for adults but for young children and infants, why even take the chance that the bug the fever is trying to fight is something that it can't? Get them seen by a professional immediately! Also, pregnant women should not have fevers...it's very bad for their unborn child, and for them, and can cause horrible things, among them pre-term labor, to happen. If you're pregnant, do not wait more than four hours and one dose of Tylenol (only take Tylenol and not ibuprofen)to see a doctor! When you have a fever, if possible, call your OB nurse as soon as possible and if you have any contractions while having a fever, hightail it to the nearest ER. Also, pregnant women should avoid hot tubs, saunas, and any other activity that drastically raises body temp, even if it causes only a temporary fever, it can have devastating effects.

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<CENTER>22
"Give me a fever and I can cure any disease" Hippocrates 400bc
This guiding principle of medicine has been ignored in the last 100 years by conventional medicine at the patients expense. Fever is a beneficial metabolic response by the body to certain types of infections. The elevated temperature slows viral and bacterial reproduction, accelerates a variety of the body's immune functions, while increasing elimination of the combusted wastes.
Aspirin, tylenol, ibuprofen biochemically disrupt the process while doing nothing to treat the underlying cause - the infection. That is why in studies these drugs PROLONG infections, INCREASE their communicability to others, INCREASE the likelihood of a recurrence of the same infection and INCREASE the likelihood of secondary infections and complications.
For proper management of fever please see www.holistichealthpc.com (http://www.holistichealthpc.com/)
Quite simply the most efficient and biologically appropriate treatment are simple hydrotherapy techniques described at this site.

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Don't listen to the advice on fever temperature. If a fever gets much above 105 F you can slip into a coma and die. Most doctors recommend if you have a sustained fever above 102 F for children or adults and Tylenol or Ibuprofen has not brought the fever down with in a hour or two, to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
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oh yeah another part to what I posted. Please take your child, elder person or sugnificant other to the doctor right away or to the Er after doctor's hours. Let the doctors get mad and do their job that they are paid to do. Any fever is a risk just as every surgery is. Use wisdom.



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I agree with pink1955, when I was a toddler, I had a high fever and I had a seizure and I didn't talk since then for a long time. I believe I had to relearn to talk and my speech isn't as good as it had been before. Also, a doctor told us to switch between tylonal and ibeprophin. Unless you can't take one or the other, then don't, but for small children, you do want to err on the safe side!
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When posting medical advice, please have evidence to back up what you say and it would be preferred that you work as a medical professional too! The CDC has this to say: "Thimerosal is a mercury-containing preservative used in some vaccines and other products since the 1930s. There is no convincing scientific evidence of harm caused by the low doses of thimerosal in vaccines, except for minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site." As a precaution the CDC is working to lower (or eliminate) the amount of Thimerosal used in vaccines. It is true that a mild fever is your bodies attempt to fight infection and you should not interfere with a mild fever. (Posted by a Paramedic and Nursing student committed to researching what is true in medicine)

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abma0818 (http://www.fitsugar.com/user/abma0818) </TD><TD width=10></TD><TD>
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If a fever gets to high it can cause severe brain damage. While taking meds and drinking plenty of fluids are both good advice you shoud always consult your DOCTOR!!!!! There are other possibilities somethng else could be wrong. Also yes you could have the flu but an infection can occur too and at that point that is when you do need the antibiotics. How can you tell? When your mucus is GREEN that is a sign of infection weather it comes from your nose or from coughing it up. As for going to the ER try calling your doctor first and see if he/she can prescrbe you something or give you MEDICAL ADVICE on what you can do for your illness or if the DOCTOR feels you need to go to the ER they will send you.

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jeaguiar (http://www.fitsugar.com/user/jeaguiar) </TD><TD width=10></TD><TD><CENTER>
Now wait a sec here folks...let's not forget common sense. First of all, children and babies are completely different stories. Children and babies having fevers is a whole other category. Second, an adult having a fever is not quite the same, but 104 degrees for anyones should be a source of concern if your "normal" runs under 100 degrees. If your "normal" is 100 degrees or more, then 104 degress is not a very high temp at all.
As to fever meds, I am gonna tell you folks something.... all meds you would take to alleviate a fever MASK the symptoms of a fever so that your body can have a little time to cope and get over the fever. But if you are taking fever meds for more than a day or two then you are still having a fever. You should be fever free and NOT taking meds for at least 24 hours before you can say you do not have a fever. One or two days of meds will not hurt you as an adult.
As to high fevers, it is all relative. For me personally, I run a bit on the low side for my "normal"...somewhere around 96 or 97. If I have 104 degree temp you can bet the farm it's pretty serious. And fevers are a way for your body to say there is something very wrong with it. Every serious illness in my life has involved a sudden and extremely high temp. Frankly, it used to scare my mother (who raised 4 kids and helped raise 5 other siblings) to death if I had a fever because she knew it was serious. On the other hand, for my little brother, fevers were no biggie for him and he often ran a little on the warm side when he was slightly unwell.
My point folks, is that the danger of a "high" fever varies.

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MaFi (http://www.fitsugar.com/user/MaFi) </TD><TD width=10></TD><TD><CENTER>
Hey, you CAN take ibuprofen and tylenol, but you don't take them TOGETHER! You alternate - which means you take tylenol, wait 4 to 6 hours (or whatever) until it wears off, and then take ibuprofen, etc. Of course you wouldn't take them together! Who would do that?!
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AndieLynneMarie (http://www.fitsugar.com/user/AndieLynneMarie) </TD><TD width=10></TD><TD>

A fever is a good thing! It's your body's natural response to a bad "germ". And don't necessarily listen to everyone about the tylenol and aleve- talk to your DOCTOR about stuff like that- they will tell you either way what you should do. Getting "medical" advice from anyone but a professional is not always wise. TALK TO YOUR **DOCTOR** ... that's what they're here for http://images.teamsugar.com/modules/smileys/examples/smile.png




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Volleyballgirl (http://www.fitsugar.com/user/Volleyballgirl) </TD><TD width=10></TD><TD><CENTER>
The people who advise to take nothing for fever have obviously not had a high fever with pain and hallucinations. I had this terrible flu 3 weeks ago. I rarely take ANY medications, but in this instance, I needed to. I had 5 days of fever over 103... I started with alternating tylenol and ibuprofen. The problem with these is that they provide very short term results - 4 to 5 hours at best. My doctor recommended Aleve. I had never tried it before and it worked great! 12 hours in between dosing. Don't suffer with fever and body aches, be smart. The fever is still present when taking these meds, it is just so much more bearable. It is not good for an adult to have a temperature of over 103, especially day after day after day...

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nanamcphillips (http://www.fitsugar.com/user/nanamcphillips) </TD><TD width=10></TD><TD><CENTER>
my granddaughter had two seizers because of high fevers. my grandson had one also. two days ago my one year old granddaughter was running a 102 temp. my daughter called her ped. doc and was told to let it run its course.a few hours later she was running 103 temp knowing niece and nephew had seizures when young, she rushed her daughter to e.r. after trying to take her blood four times, giving her a cathader for a urine sample, taking a swap to both her nose and throat and taking an x-ray of her chest. the doc came back in said all the tests came back negitive and that he had three of my daughters ped. offfices patients in the e.r for the same thing. and to have my daughter go see her ped. doctor the next day, which is sunday, because her ped.doctor wanted to see her daughter. what i cant understand is why he had time on sunday to see her, but did not have time on sat.to see her. now my daughter is going to receive a big bill for using the e.r. that took three hours. and still have to pay a doctors bill, for follow up treatment. if he had seen her in the first place, it would have saved her time and money. but he didnt want to take the time. so my granddaughter is running a 104 temp and if my daughter had taken the nurses instructions. what might have happened? your damed if you do and damed if you dont.
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kidsdoc (http://www.fitsugar.com/user/kidsdoc) </TD><TD width=10></TD><TD>

I am frequently disturbed by the type and content of medical advice propagated through cyberspace. In regards to fever, the reason physicians recommend having a child seen with fever 105 farenheit or greater is that a temp that high has a statistically much greater chance of being associated with a dangerous bacterial infection, such as meningitis. Fever itself is usually not harmful to cells and body/brian tissue until it reaches an amazing 107 degrees! That's easy to say in a theoretical sense, very difficult to believe when caring for your own sick child. Fever is your body's natural infection fighter, and rarely poses a danger to your child. However, there is very little if any evidence that treating a fever with antipyretics prolongs the illness. Treating your child with Tylenol or Ibuprofen is compassionate care. If they are miserable with their fever, give them medicine to keep them more comfortable. Remember that Ibuprofen doses need to be 6 to 8 hours apart. If one medicine will not control fever, then alternate. Viral infections DO NOT need antibiotics, and your doctor can help determine whether or not your child needs medicine to recover. However, chiropractic care is considered EXTREMELY quesionable in pediatric medicine, particularly when treating infections. Herbal preparations and mega vitamin supplements may be metabolized differently in kids than adults, and can actually be quite dangerous. Please consider seeing a board certified pediatrician when seeking both ill and well care for your child. Isn't your child worth it?


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BuzzBuster (http://www.fitsugar.com/user/BuzzBuster) </TD><TD width=10></TD><TD>

Good info in many posts however, Best advice is always from your Doctor. For those of you that have addictions to Drugs or Alcohol, or who are in the first two years of Recovery, best bet is to just tough it out if you can. When temp goes above 103, it is time for you to head to a Doctor, cause your body doesn't act like the "normal" peoples, especially if you are early in Recovery.
You may also want to drag your Sponsor, or a trustworthy family member along. They will be honest with the Doctor, even if you are tempted not to be. (Having a Doc in front of you with a script pad is a big temptation, been there done that).
Remember yourbody is learning how to cope without the interference of external compounds. Depending on what those were and what you may be prescribed, your body can go tilt!
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I understand both sides of the argument. I'm a paramedic and know the dangers of having a high fever for a long period of time but I also know that many of the medications taken to lower temperatures can be just as dangerous to your health. I have a two year old daughter so I know a parents fear when your child gets a fever, you wonder should you take them to the Dr. or just see if they get better in a few days. Should you give them a dose of Tylenol and see if that helps? But my daughter and I can't take Tylenol. In fact we can't take any medication that you walk into the grocery store and grab off a shelf! We are allergic to them! There is nothing wrong with having a fever like many people have already said it’s fighting infection in your body. There are times that it’s to high though, when it get’s over 104 and stays there for long periods of time that’s when you need to think about bringing it down, in adults! Children are a different ballgame. As well as elderly people or people who are naturally less health, maybe they have an autoimmune disease. These are the ones that you want to keep an eye on and when you notice that they are getting sick contact their dr.s you don’t have to take them in. Just talk to the nurse and see what see suggest. I also have a nephew who at under a year had had 3 open heart surgeries and twice seizure due to fever. But now he’s 5 and health as any other kid in his class. Fevers can be scary but they can a natural design of the body!

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