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Fever in Children: Signs and Relief

  • A fever is a higher than normal temperature.
  • It’s usually caused by the body fighting an underlying infection, because raising the temperature makes it harder for bacteria and viruses to thrive.
  • Fevers are common in young children, but usually improve on their own.

Signs and symptoms of fever in children

  • They feel hotter than usual
  • Have flushed cheeks
  • Are shivering

How to relieve a fever

  • You can help your child feel better while they have a fever by allowing them to rest, and checking on them regularly.
  • Supply them with fluids, and make sure their room is well ventilated.
  • If your child is over 3 months, you can administer the recommended dosage of a fever-reducing medicine such as ibuprofen, the active ingredient in Nurofen for Children.

Fever in children: signs and relief

A fever is a higher than normal body temperature. It’s usually caused by the body fighting an underlying infection, because raising the temperature makes it harder for bacteria and viruses to thrive. Fevers are common in young children, but usually improve on their own.

We encourage you to practice good hygiene (washing hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm water, and cleaning between fingers and under nails) and physical distancing to help slow the spread of germs. If you or your child are experiencing symptoms of fever, coughing, sore throat or shortness of breath you should seek medical advice from a doctor (including pathology testing) and stay at home (not go to school or work).

Signs and symptoms of fever in children

If they feel hotter than usual, have flushed cheeks, or are shivering, then take their temperature with a thermometer.

How to take a child’s temperature

Depending on your child’s age, you might need to try different approaches.

Under 4 weeks:

Hold a digital thermometer in place in your child’s armpit. Putting it in their mouth or bottom is not recommended because it’s uncomfortable for them and often inaccurate.

4 weeks to 5 years old:

There are a few ways of taking a temperature if your child falls in this age range, including:

  • Digital thermometer in their armpit.
  • Infrared tympanic thermometer in the ear.
  • Chemical dot thermometer in the armpit.

How to relieve a fever

You can help your child feel better while they have a fever by allowing them to rest, and checking on them regularly. Supply them with fluids, and make sure their room is well ventilated. If your child is over 3 months, you can administer the recommended dosage of a fever-reducing medicine such as ibuprofen, the active ingredient in Nurofen for Children.

Why Ibuprofen can help

Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory that helps reduce pain. It can also be used to help relieve fever in children.

Why Nurofen For Children can help your child

Nurofen for Children comes in a variety of formulations for children of different ages starting from 3 months, offering relief from fever for up to 8 hours.*

When to seek medical help

A normal temperature for a child is around 36.5°C to 37.5°C, but can vary a little from child to child.

You should see a doctor if you feel worried, or if your child is under three months and has a fever above 38°C, or if your child is immunocompromised (has a weakened immune system) due to a medical condition or medical treatment and has a fever above 38°C, even if they have no other symptoms.

For all other children, take them to see a doctor if their temperature is above 38°C and they have any of the following symptoms:

  • a stiff neck or light is hurting their eyes
  • vomiting and refusing to drink much
  • a rash
  • more sleepy than usual
  • problems with breathing
  • pain that doesn’t get better with pain relief medication.

Also take your child to a doctor if they:

  • have a fever above 40°C, but show no other symptoms
  • have had any fever for more than two days
  • seem be getting more unwell
  • have had a febrile convulsion (fit that occurs when they have a fever).

This article is for general information only and not intended as a substitute for medical advice. All information presented on these web pages is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. In all health-related matters, always consult your healthcare professional.

This medicine may not be right for you. Read the label before purchase. Follow the directions for use. Incorrect use could be harmful. If symptoms persist, talk to your healthcare professional.

*Autret-Leca E, et al. Curr Med Res Opin 2007;23(9): 2205–11 (sponsored by RB).

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