What to Do If Your Child Has a Fever

A fever, medically known as pyrexia, can occur in a child for a number of reasons. Often a high temperature is due to your child’s body trying to fight off an infection, but there are many other causes. Especially in children, it can be difficult to determine the underlying cause of a high temperature, as they may not be able to tell us what is wrong with them, or often children will run around and continue playing despite this. If your child has a fever, here is what you can do.


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Offer Plenty of Fluids

If your child has a fever, it is more than likely due to an illness. This means that they are more likely to suffer from dehydration, so offer them plenty of fluids such as water or milk. If they will only drink juice when they are poorly it is okay to allow them to have more sugar, especially if they are refusing foods. Usually, we are told to stay away from sugary drinks, but illness in children is one exception to this rule.

Keep Them Inside

If your child has a fever, they may well be suffering from an illness which is contagious. With this in mind, keeping them away from other children and keeping them off kindergarten or school is best to prevent the spread of infection.

Give Them Medication

If your child is displaying other symptoms and is unsettled, give them some Tylenol or Advil to keep these symptoms at bay until they are better. Always check the label before giving any medication to ensure that you are providing your child with a suitable dose for their age. If your child suffers from asthma, do not give them Advil. If your child seems happy in themselves and wants to play, eat and drink despite their fever, you can hold off on medication as a fever is the body’s natural and healthy way to fight off infection, unless they are displaying the warning signs listed below.

Watch Out for Warning Signs

Although it can be worrying when your child has a high temperature, it is often nothing to be worried about. When your child is unwell with a fever, there are certain warning signs to look out for that may mean the fever is due to an illness that will need further treatment. If your child is under three months of age and their temperature is over 38 degrees, has a rash that does not disappear when touched (known as a non-blanching rash), is refusing all foods and drinks or still has a fever after medication, take them to your nearest emergency room or book an urgent doctors’ appointment. When you need urgent care and do not want to wait, try the Urgency Room.

A fever is classed as a temperature above 38 degrees, but a low temperature of under 36.4 degrees may also be a sign of illness. A fever doesn’t necessarily warrant medical attention unless they are displaying other warning signs, they are suffering from other medical conditions or are undergoing chemotherapy.