A fever is a temperature of over 37.5°C. Fevers are quite common in young children and are usually mild. If your child’s face feels hot to the touch and they look red or flushed then they may have a fever. You can check their temperature with a thermometer and measurements should be taken under the arm.
A childs normal temperature is about 36.4°C (97.4°F). Under the tongue, the normal temperature is slightly higher at about 37°C (98.4°F). This may vary a bit. If you’re worried speak to your GP or call NHS Direct on 0845 4647. If the surgery is closed, contact your GP out-of-hours service. If you’re still concerned, or if your GP or out-of-hours service can’t come quickly enough, take your child straight to the Accident and Emergency (A&E) department of your nearest hospital.
Always contact your GP, health visitor, practice nurse or nurse practitioner if:
If the doctor doesn’t find a reason for the temperature they may ask you to collect a urine sample in a sterile container so they can test for infection.
Treating a Fever
It’s important to keep your child hydrated. Even if your child isn’t thirsty try to get them to drink little and often to keep their fluid levels up. Don’t give them food unless they want it. Treat discomfort and fever with paracetamol or ibuprofen (always follow the dosage instructions carefully). The following suggestions may help your child feel more comfortable:
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