Fever in Children

Article: Fever in Children

What is fever?
Your child's normal body temperature varies between 35.8°C and 37°C. A temperature which is above 37.8°C when taken under the arm, or above 38°C when taken in the mouth is considered a fever.

What causes fever?
Fevers are common in children and are usually due to infection. Fever is a way in which the body fights infection and it does not necessarily mean your child has a serious illness. Fever is usually caused by a viral infection but may sometimes be due to bacteria.

When do I take my child's temperature?
When your child feels warmer than usual
When your child looks unwell
When your child is cranky or miserable
What do I do for the fever?

To help make your child feel better you can:

  • Undress your child to allow cooling. Avoid fans or draughts blowing directly onto your child.
  • Give your child frequent sips of water.
  • Give the recommended dose of paracetamol syrup every 4 hours.
  • Most importantly, your child may not understand why he/she is feeling ill. They may be irritable and upset, and therefore will need extra care and reassurance. As always, if your child's condition is causing you concern please check with your doctor.

    For further information telephone the Women's and Children's Hospital's Health Information Centre on 08 8204 6875.

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