A fever is a high temperature. When someone’s body temperature goes above the normal body temperature of 37°C (98. 6°F), this is called a fever.

Usually fevers are caused by infections or illnesses, such as a sore throat, earache, or chickenpox.

Fevers are common in children and, though worrying for parents, they often go away without treatment. 

But if a young child’s temperature goes above 39°C (102. 2°F) this can be dangerous and might trigger a seizure (fit).

Watch our video - Fever

What to look for - Fever

These are the six key things to look for when someone has a fever:

Early signs of fever:

1.High temperature - above 37°C (98. 6°F)

2. Pale skin

3. They may feel cold, with goose pimples, shivering and chattering teeth

Then, later:

4. Hot, flushed skin and sweating

5. Headache

6. General aches and pains

What you need to do - Fever

• If you notice some of these symptoms, take their temperature using a thermometer.

• If their temperature is above 37°C, it’s a fever.

• Help make them comfortable and keep them cool, ideally in bed with a sheet or light duvet.

• Give them plenty of cool drinks to replace any fluid they lose from sweating.

• If they’re feeling unwell, you can give them the recommended dose of paracetamol (remember - don’t give aspirin-based medication to anyone under 16).

• Check their breathing, pulse and level of response until they’re feeling better.

• If you’re worried about their condition then call their local doctor’s surgery, or NHS advice line for free on 111 for advice in England and Scotland (for Wales call 0845 46 47).

• If their temperature is above 39°C, call the doctor, or the NHS advice line for free on 111 for advice in England and Scotland (for Wales call 0845 46 47).

• If they seem to be getting worse then call 999/112 for emergency medical help and be prepared to treat them for a seizure.

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