Title: Understanding When to Go to the Emergency Room for a High Temperature


Feeling unwell and experiencing a high temperature is a common occurrence in our lives. However, there are times when a high temperature can be a sign of a more serious underlying condition that requires immediate medical attention. This article aims to provide clarity on when it is necessary to go to the emergency room for a high temperature.

When to Go to the ER:

1. High Temperature in Infants: If your infant, less than three months old, has a rectal temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, seek immediate medical attention.

2. High Temperature in Children: Children between three months and three years old should be taken to the ER if their temperature reaches 102°F (38.9°C) or higher.

3. High Temperature in Adults: Adults with a temperature above 103°F (39.4°C) that persists for more than a few days should seek medical attention.

4. Associated Symptoms: If your high temperature is accompanied by severe headache, stiff neck, confusion, difficulty breathing, chest pain, or seizures, it is crucial to visit the ER.

5. Underlying Health Conditions: Individuals with chronic medical conditions, weakened immune systems, or who are undergoing cancer treatment should seek immediate medical attention if they have a high temperature.

6. High Temperature after Travel: If you recently traveled to an area with a high incidence of infectious diseases and develop a high temperature, seeking medical attention is advised.

7. Difficulty Staying Hydrated: If you are unable to keep fluids down due to vomiting or diarrhea, and your temperature is elevated, immediate medical attention is necessary.

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8. Worsening Symptoms: If your temperature continues to rise despite taking over-the-counter fever-reducing medications, it is advisable to go to the ER.

9. Intense Pain: If your high temperature is accompanied by severe abdominal pain, severe headache, or any other persistent pain, seek immediate medical attention.


1. Can a high temperature alone be a medical emergency?
A high temperature alone may not be an emergency, but it can indicate an underlying condition that requires medical attention.

2. Should I go to the ER if my fever spikes suddenly?
If your fever rises suddenly and is accompanied by severe symptoms or other red flags, it is advisable to go to the ER.

3. Is it necessary to go to the ER for a low-grade fever?
Low-grade fevers are generally not a cause for concern unless they persist for an extended period or are accompanied by severe symptoms.

4. Can a high temperature indicate COVID-19?
While a high temperature can be a symptom of COVID-19, it is essential to consider other associated symptoms and follow local health guidelines for testing and seeking medical care.

5. Is it safe to wait and see if my high temperature goes down on its own?
If you are experiencing severe symptoms or have any concerns, seeking immediate medical attention is always the safest option.

6. Should I go to the ER for a high temperature during pregnancy?
Pregnant women with a high temperature should contact their healthcare provider for guidance, as it may indicate an infection that requires medical attention.

7. Can a high temperature be caused by stress or anxiety?
While stress and anxiety can cause transient increases in body temperature, persistent high temperatures should not be solely attributed to these factors.

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8. What can I do while waiting to go to the ER for a high temperature?
While waiting for medical attention, ensure you stay hydrated, monitor your symptoms, and take over-the-counter fever-reducing medications if appropriate.

9. Can a high temperature be treated at home?
While mild fevers can often be managed at home with rest, fluids, and over-the-counter medications, persistent high temperatures or concerning symptoms should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.


Understanding when to seek emergency medical care for a high temperature is crucial for timely diagnosis and treatment. If you or someone you know experiences a high temperature along with any of the aforementioned red flags or concerns, it is essential to seek immediate medical attention. Remember, it is always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to your health.