102.2°F (39°C) or higher is considered high.
Kids whose temperatures are lower than 102°F (38.9°C) often don't need medicine unless they're uncomfortable.
If your child is between 3 months and 3 years old and has a fever of 102.2°F (39°C) or higher, call to see if your doctor needs to see your child.
For older kids, take behavior and activity level into account. Watching how your child behaves will give you a pretty good idea of whether a minor illness is the cause or if your child should be seen by a doctor.
Activities to watch out include:
- being interested in playing
- eating and drinking well
- being alert and smiling at you
- having a normal skin color
- looking well when his or her temperature comes down
There's one important exception: If an infant 3 months or younger has a rectal temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, call your doctor or go to the emergency department immediately. Even a slight fever can be a sign of a potentially serious infection in very young babies.