Common in Young Children

If your child has a fever, he or she will have a body temperature above 38°C. Your child may also feel tired, look pale, have a poor appetite, be irritable, have a headache or other aches and pains and feel generally unwell.

A fever is part of the body’s natural response to infection and can often be left to run its course provided your child is drinking enough and is otherwise well. It is important to prevent your child from becoming dehydrated, which can lead to more serious problems. As a guide, your child’s urine should be pale yellow – if it is darker, your child may need to drink more fluids.

Fevers are common in young children. They are usually caused by viral infections and clear up without treatment. However, a fever can occasionally be a sign of a more serious illness such as a severe bacterial infection of the blood (septicaemia), urinary tract infection, pneumonia or Meningitis.

Always seek medical advice if your child develops a fever soon after an operation, or soon after travelling abroad.

My toddler is hot and grumpy. Have you tried liquid Paracetamol? Have you made sure they are drinking lots of fluids? If their temperature remains over 38°C and doesn’t come down, contact your GP (source: DoH Birth to five edition 2009).

These are things you can do at home to help:

  • Children with fever should not be under or overdressed.
  • It is important to ensure your child drinks as much fluid as possible.
  • Keep them in a well ventilated room.

Babies under 6 Months

Always contact your Practice Nurse, GP or Health Visitor without delay – if your baby has other signs of illness, as well as a raised temperature and/or if your baby’s temperature is 38°C (102°F) or higher.

Older Children

A little fever isn’t usually a worry. Contact your GP if your child seems unusually ill, or has a high temperature which doesn’t come down.

  • It is important to ensure your child drinks as much fluid as possible.
  • Keep the room at a comfortable temperature (18°C).
  • Give liquid Paracetamol in the correct recommended dose for your child.
  • Aspirin should not be given to children for treatment of pain or a fever.
  • Please ask your local Pharmacist to advise about medicines.

(Source: DoH Birth to five edition 2009)