How to tell when a child’s temperature is too high?
Is your child’s temperature too high?
A high fever does not necessarily mean your child has a serious illness. Fever is a sign of infection which is usually caused by a virus, but it may sometimes be due to bacteria. We treat bacterial infections with antibiotics. Virus infections, which are far more common, do not need antibiotics. Fever is a way in which the body fights infection and your child’s temperature will return to normal when the infection has completely gone.
|Normal body temperature:
| between 36 and 38 Celsius
|| above 37.6 and 38.5 Celsius
| above 39 Celsius
|| above 41 Celsius
How to manage the fever before visiting the doctor:
- Treat the fever if you feel it is making your child uncomfortable and irritable.
- Dress your child in light clothing – a vest and pants or nappy will be enough. Cover them with a cotton sheet if they start to shiver.
- Keep the room at normal temperature, or cooler, by opening the windows and use a fan to circulate air. (Do not aim the fan directly at your child.)
- Give them plenty of fluids to drink, small amounts frequently. Do not worry if your child refuses to eat.
- “Sponge” your child’s body and head with luke warm water using a face flannel if they are hot but do not let them shiver.
Consult your doctor if:
You can consult either our doctors or our paediatrician (including out of hours provision):
- you are at all concerned
- their fever continues for more than three days
- your child develops a rash.
- to assist you in an emergency
- to establish whether your child needs antibiotics
- or for alternative homeopathic treatment.