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If my child has a fever, when should we consider bringing her in for emergency care?

If my child has a fever, and we are waiting for an appointment with her pediatrician, at what point should we consider bringing her in for emergency care?

We tend to worry most about fevers in babies under three months of age, who should be brought in to the emergency room right away if they have a fever. For children over three months old, you should consider immediate medical care if the fever has lasted more than a few days and the child cries but does not make tears or has a weak cry, is not urinating, or is vomiting. These are all concerning signs that may mean she is not keeping up with the infection.

If the child has only had the fever for a day or two and is eating well, urinating a normal amount, and is generally playful or interested in interacting with you, you can probably wait for an appointment with your pediatrician. If her symptoms worsen, the emergency department is available 24 hours a day.

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