Definition: A fever is not a disease and is usually caused by the body’s own defense system response to a virus (a cold or the flu) or bacteria (strep throat, pneumonia). We all have our own internal thermostat that regulates our body temperature. On average, a normal body temperature is around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit plus or minus about one degree (37 degrees Celsius, plus or minus about 0.6 degrees).
Not all fevers are something to be alarmed about and not all require medical treatment. Natural body temperature elevations occur in the afternoon. Also take into consideration if the student was recently active or outside in the sun and heat. A fever under 100.4 alone is considered minor; however, if a temperature is at or above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, and there are associated symptoms with the fever then your child will be sent home.
Examples of associated symptoms may include but are not limited to:
Sinus drainage or congestion
Vomiting or Diarrhea
Child is lethargic or delirious
Students will not be allowed to return to school unless their temperature is below 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. They should not return to school until their temperature has been normal for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication like Advil or Tylenol. Infants and children (birth to age 18) should not be given aspirin or aspirin containing medications for an illness unless prescribed by your health care provider. Using aspirin to treat a viral infection, such as flu, chickenpox or an upper respiratory infection use can result in Reye's Syndrome, a serious and sometimes fatal disease.
Shelov SP, ed in chief, Altmann, TR, ed. Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5. American Academy of Pediatrics; 2009.