For babies under six months, any fever should be reported to the GP. The normal body temperature for children is between 36 degrees and 37.5 degrees celsius (96.8 degrees and 99.5 degrees F). A temperature above 38 degrees C (100.4 degrees F) could be a sign of an illness. If your child complains of feeling unwell, looks pale, feels cold and her forehead is hot to touch, it could be a fever. A child's temperature can rise quickly so call the doctor if the temperature goes over 39.4 degrees C (103 degrees F). If your child is under one year and has fever over 38.3 degrees C (101 degrees F) which you are unable to bring down, call the doctor.
Bringing a temperature down:
- Ensure that your child is not overdressed. Remove some layers so that he feels cool.
- Open a few windows to cool the room
- Encourage your child to drink as much fluids as he can
- You can give the recommended dose of paracetamol
- Sponge his body with tepid water to bring the temperature down. Continue sponging for half an hour and then take the temperature again. If it is still running high, you must contact the doctor straightaway.
Some children (especially under 5 years of age) develop fits or convulsions with high fever. Stay with your child during the attack and call the doctor afterwards. Some children may start hallucinating. Although it can be worrying, try and calm the child and when his temperature drops, he will go off to sleep and wake up normal.