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Fever in Children

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This Christmas holidays both my grandson’s were very ill, which resulted in them being admitted into hospital for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. So I decided to do some research from the NHS which I would like to share to help all you worried mum and dads out there.
There were so many ill children and so many worried parents I thought this would be helpful.
The Do’s and Dont’s for a ill baby/child from the NHS

The do’s and don’ts for an ill baby/child

What is a fever?

A normal temperature in babies and children is about 36.4C, but this can vary slightly from child to child.
A fever is a high temperature of 38C or more.
Fever is the body’s natural response to fighting infections like coughs and colds.
Many things can cause a high temperature in children, from common childhood illnesses like chickenpox and tonsillitis, to vaccinations.
Checking a high temperature
Your child might:
• Feel hotter than usual to the touch on their forehead, back or tummy
• Feel sweaty or clammy
• Have red cheeks
Use a digital thermometer, which you can buy from pharmacies and supermarkets, to take your child’s temperature.

How to take your child’s temperature

What to do if your child has a high temperature
You can usually look after your child or baby at home. The temperature should go down over 3 or 4 days.


• Give them plenty of fluids
• Look out for signs of dehydration
• Give them food if they want it
• Check on your child regularly during the night
• Keep them at home
• Give them paracetamol or ibuprofen if they’re distressed or unwell
• Get medical advice if you’re worried about your child


• Do not undress your child or sponge them down to cool them – fever is a natural and healthy response to infection
• Do not cover them up in too many clothes or bedclothes
• Do not give aspirin to under-16s
• Do not combine ibuprofen and paracetamol, unless a GP tells you to
• Do not give paracetamol to a child under 2 months
• Do not give ibuprofen to a child under 3 months or under 5kg
• Do not give ibuprofen to children with asthma


• Is under 3 months old and has a temperature of 38C or higher, or you think they have a fever
• Is 3 to 6 months old and has a temperature of 39C or higher, or you think they have a fever
• Has other signs of illness, such as a rash, as well as a high temperature
• Has a high temperature that’s lasted for 5 days or more
• Does not want to eat, or is not their usual self and you’re worried
• Has a high temperature that does not come down with paracetamol or ibuprofen
• Is showing signs of dehydration – such as nappies that are not very wet, sunken eyes, and no tears when they’re crying

Call NHS 111 in the evening and at weekends


It’s quite rare for a fever to be a sign of anything serious (like meningitis, a urinary tract infection and sepsis).

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED : CALL 999 or go to A&E if your child:

• Has a stiff neck
• Has a rash that does not fade when you press a glass against it
• Is bothered by light
• Has a fit (febrile seizure) for the first time (they cannot stop shaking)
• Has unusually cold hands and feet
• Has pale, blotchy, blue or grey skin
• Has a weak, high-pitched cry that’s not like their normal cry
• Is drowsy and hard to wake
• Finds it hard to breathe and sucks their stomach in under their ribs
• Has a soft spot on their head that curves outwards (bulging fontanelle)

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