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April 24, 2024

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Fevers in Infants: New Guidelines for Babies Under 60 Days Old

The American Academy of Pediatrics breaks fever recommendations down in order to spare some newborns "full workups."

Fevers in newborns are no laughing matter, and for decades protocols for fevers have been the same for all newborns. But a new set of guidelines published in Pediatrics goes a long way in assisting doctors in determining if a baby will need hospitalization or not. When an infant gets a fever it can be very worrisome for parents, but now decades on science related to fever management can help them decide what to do. Until now official guidelines have been the same for decades.

Here's what's new:

• Three different age-based algorithms, which can help doctors determine if infants with a fever of more than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit should be admitted to the hospital. The guidelines are specific to infants who have a fever but otherwise appear well. Further, doctors can no rely upon a subset of tests based on whether the infant is 8 to 21 days old, 22 to 28 days old or 29 to 60 days old. 

• For infants older than 60 days, parents will be asked to monitor the fever at home for a day before seeking medical treatment while staying in touch with the pediatrician for specific medical advice.

If your infant has a fever:

If your infant is younger than 60 days, and has a fever of 100.4 Fahrenheit or higher, go to the emergency room.

• If your infant is older than 60 days, monitor the baby at home while being in touch with your pediatrician.



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About the Author

Susan Swindell Day

Susan Day is the editor in chief for this award-winning publication and all-things Nashville Parent digital creative. She's also an Equity actress, screenwriter and a mom of four amazing kids.