NHS

Fever

Common in young children

 

If your child has a fever, he or she will have a body temperature above 38°C. Your child may also feel tired, look pale, have a poor appetite, be irritable, have a headache or other aches and pains and feel generally unwell.

A fever is part of the body's natural response to infection and can often be left to run its course provided your child is drinking enough and is otherwise well.

It is important to prevent your child from becoming dehydrated, which can lead to more serious problems. As a guide, your child's urine should be pale yellow - if it is darker, your child may need to drink more fluids.

Fevers are common in young children. They are usually caused by viral infections and clear up without treatment. However, a fever can occasionally be a sign of a more serious illness such as a severe bacterial infection of the blood (septicaemia), urinary tract infection, pneumonia or Meningitis.

Always seek medical advice if your child develops a fever soon after an operation, or soon after travelling abroad.

Fever advice sheet

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Source: DoH Birth to five edition 2009.