Should You Go to Urgent Care for a Fever?

Should You Go to Urgent Care for a Fever?

When you have an illness, you don’t always know whether you should go to urgent care or wait it out at home. A fever without a rash can be particularly difficult to diagnose, as it may be the sign of any number of illnesses from the common cold to Ebola. In fact, while some fevers may indicate the presence of serious conditions like meningitis or pneumonia, most types of fever won’t cause permanent damage if left untreated. That said, there are risks associated with trying to treat your fever at home rather than seeking medical attention right away.

Know how your fever feels
A fever, or high temperature, is the body’s natural response to illness. When you’re healthy and your immune system is strong, fevers are usually harmless and go away without treatment. But when you have an infection, fever can be a symptom of serious illness that needs medical attention. Here are some things to think about when deciding whether you should go to urgent care:
-Does your fever have any other symptoms? If so, it’s time for urgent care!

Know how it affects your child
If your child has been diagnosed with an ear or sinus infection, then you should wait. An ear or sinus infection will cause fever and discomfort in the area of the infection, which is typically accompanied by other symptoms such as runny nose, congestion and pain when swallowing. The fever should also break within three days of starting antibiotics. If your child’s fever persists after three days on antibiotics, then this could be a sign that they have an unrelated condition such as pneumonia and you should contact your doctor.

Consider what brought on your fever
If you have a fever that has no accompanying symptoms or signs, like rash, vomiting, diarrhea, etc., you may not need to go to the urgent care. One of the first things your doctor will do is ask about your symptoms and examine you. Your doctor will also take your temperature and ask whether you feel ill in any other way. If you have any other accompanying symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea, then it’s time to head to the ER.

Consider what could be causing your fever
If your fever is accompanied by a rash, you should go to an urgent care center or emergency room. However, if it is just fever without rash or any other symptoms, there may be another cause that can be resolved with at-home treatment. See your doctor if the fever persists and doesn’t seem to be getting better with home treatment.

Take an accurate temperature
An accurate temperature reading can be taken in the mouth, armpit, or rectum. While it is possible to take an accurate temperature reading in any of these locations, the rectal method is considered most reliable. The best way to take your temperature is with a digital thermometer that registers both Fahrenheit and Celsius. To do this, insert the thermometer into your rectum while you are lying down on your back and make sure it has been fully inserted past your sphincter muscle.

See the pediatrician if you have questions
If you have any concerns about your fever, it’s important to see your doctor as soon as possible. Once the pediatrician sees you, he or she will be able to determine whether or not you need treatment. The pediatrician may also recommend an urgent care visit.

Follow up with another doctor (such as an ENT or dermatologist)
It can be hard to tell when you need urgent care. The symptoms of sinusitis, bronchitis, and pneumonia are similar, and they all require urgent care. If you have any of these symptoms along with fever, go straight to the ER or urgent care:
A high fever (over 101°)
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Chest pain that gets worse with deep breaths
A cough that’s producing green sputum

Know when you need immediate help