Emergency advice

Fever:

  1. Keep them cool.
  2. Give them plenty of cool drinks.
  3. If they feel unwell give recommended dose of paracetamol.
  4. Monitor level of response.

What is a fever?

A fever is when a person has a persistent high temperature above 37°C (98.6°F). This is normally caused by a bacterial or viral infection and is often associated with a sore throat, earache, measles, meningitis or chickenpox. Beware of recent overseas travel. If a young child’s temperature rises above 39°C (102. 2°F) this can be dangerous and might trigger a seizure.

Signs and symptoms

Look for:

  • a persistently high temperature - above 37°C (98.6°F)
  • feeling cold, with goose pimples, shivering and chattering teeth.

Later they may have:

  • hot, flushed skin and sweating
  • a headache
  • general aches and pains.

What to do

  1. If someone has a fever, help make them comfortable and keep them cool, ideally in bed with a sheet or light duvet.

    • Do not use a sponge to cool them as there is a risk of overcooling.
  2. Give the casualty plenty of cool drinks to replace any fluid loss through sweating.

  3. If they’re feeling unwell, you can give them the recommended dose of paracetamol tablets for an adult, or the recommended dose of paracetamol syrup for a child.

    • Do not give aspirin to anyone under the age of 16.
  4. Monitor their level of response until they recover.

    • If you are worried, seek medical advice.

Related first aid advice

Scarlet fever in babies

Scarlet fever is an infection that causes a blotchy, pink-red rash, and is most common in children. Find out what to look for nad what to do.

Meningitis

Anyone of any age can get meningitis. Find out what to look for and what to do.

Mumps

Mumps is a contagious viral infection. It usually passes without causing serious damage to a person’s health. Find out what to look for and what to do.

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