Fever with No Other Symptoms in Child

A fever itself is not an illness, but it indicates an underlying viral or bacterial infection. Your child may have fever due to certain bugs such as the flu, a cold, or a stomach virus. These conditions are not very serious and are treatable at home. You may want to consult your doctor though if you notice fever without other symptoms in child.  

What Causes Fever with No Other Symptoms in Child?

When your child has a fever, it’s usually accompanied by a cough, a running nose, diarrhea or vomiting. It is obvious to feel even more concerned when you notice fever with no other symptoms in child. This may still happen due to infections, which are among the most common causes of FUOs (fever of unknown origin) in children.

A person can have a fever due to any type of infection, from HIV disease to a self-limiting common cold. Your child may harbor a fever-producing infection without any additional symptoms. Here are some of the causes why your child has a fever:

  • Bacterial sepsis is a condition in which bacteria enter your child's bloodstream and causes an infection in the kidneys, lungs or other organs. Your child will need antibiotics for treatment. There are certain vaccines available, two of which are extremely effective and have really helped protect people from becoming infected.
  • Meningitis.Meninges is a membrane around the brain and protects brain from outside influences. A viral or bacterial infection may lead to the inflammation of meninges, leading to Meningitis. If this is due to a bacterial infection, the situation can be life threatening. Viral infections are not that severe though. Viral infections will have certain symptoms such as a rigid neck and severe headache.
  • A bite of an insect could be the reason why you are noticing fever with no other symptoms in child. Your child will develop fever if they are allergic to insects. The fever in this case is usually not very high and you will also be able to notice a rash on the skin, especially where insect has bitten.
  • Vaccination is usually a way to provide your children with some protection from a variety of dangerous infections. If you have just had your child vaccinated and he/she is now experiencing a fever, this could be due to the vaccination.
  • A urinary tract infection can affect the urinary system and may be the reason behind an unexplained fever in your child. About 5% of children with unexplained fever have it due to a urinary tract infection. You need to call your child's doctor if you suspect a UTI is the reason behind the unexplained fever. It is easy to treat urinary tract infections, but if left untreated, the infections can lead to permanent kidney damage.
  • Roseola (a viral infection affecting kids of 6 months to 3 years old) could be the reason why your child is having a fever. The fever usually goes away in a couple of days but leaves skin rashes on legs, arms and neck. Fatigue, swollen eyelids, and loss of appetite will also appear after fever caused by roseola.
  • Fever with no other symptoms in child might indicate ear infections. You may not notice any visible signs for the first few days but ear infections will affect hearing ability after some time.
  • A teething child could also have low grade fever.

What Other Moms Say

"My son had a very high fever with no regular symptoms when he was teething. I took him to my doctor to ensure there was nothing serious. She was quite satisfied and said it was only because of his teeth. I used cooling cloths though, but his fever took four days to go away."

"My little one had 101°F-103°F fever for about four days and there were no other symptoms at all. She started rubbing her ear after the 4th day and that made me think there was something wrong with her ear. It turned out to be an ear infection."

"My daughter had fever without any other symptoms. The pediatrician checked her ears, lungs, nose and throat, and found nothing unusual. She asked for a strep culture that was negative as well. She said it could be an upper respiratory infection and asked me to watch her fever and give her Tylenol."

When to See a Doctor

As mentioned already, you don't always need to worry about a fever.  However, you may have to see your doctor in certain cases, especially when you notice fever with no other symptoms in child and the fever is high. You should always keep an eye on your child's temperature. You can use several types of thermometers for this – there are rectal, oral, ear, and forehead thermometers. You can also use an oral thermometer in the armpit for safety. Place it in your child's armpit, wait for five minutes, and note the reading.

You will be better off using a rectal thermometer for infants though. For this, you should lay your baby on his/her tummy. Take a thermometer, apply some petroleum jelly on the bulb, and slowly insert it about half an inch into your baby's rectum. Take it out after three minutes. Be sure to hold the thermometer while it is in your baby's rectum.

Once you have the temperature, here is what you should consider to decide if you should go see your doctor or take some homecare measures.

Call your doctor if your infant is:

  • Younger than 3 months of age and has a rectal temperature of higher than 38°C (100.4°F).
  • Between 3 and 6 months old and has a temperature higher than 38.9°C  (102°F).
  • Between 6 and 24 months of age and has a temperature higher than 38.9°C with symptoms such as a cough, cold, or diarrhea.

Don't wait for things to improve, especially if you're not sure about something. You should seek immediate medical assistance when your child :

  • Is irritable and vomits repeatedly
  • Has a severe stomach ache or headache
  • Has fever that persists for more than three days
  • Appears listless and fails to maintain eye contact with you
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