High temperature (fever) in children
A fever is a high temperature of 38C or more. A child with a fever may also be hot and sweaty.
You can usually treat a fever by making sure your child rests and drinks plenty of fluids. Get medical advice if you're worried about your child.
Checking a high temperature
Your child might:
- feel hotter than usual when you touch their back or chest
- feel sweaty
- look or feel unwell
Use a digital thermometer, which you can buy from pharmacies and supermarkets, to take your child's temperature.
What to do if your child has a high temperature
You can usually look after your child or baby at home. The temperature should go down over 3 or 4 days.
give them plenty of fluids
look out for signs of dehydration
give them food if they want it
check on your child regularly during the night
keep them at home
give them paracetamol if they're distressed or unwell
get medical advice if you're worried about your child
do not undress your child or sponge them down to cool them, a high temperature is a natural and healthy response to infection
do not cover them up in too many clothes or bedclothes
do not give aspirin to children under 16 years of age
do not combine ibuprofen and paracetamol, unless a GP tells you to
do not give paracetamol to a child under 2 months
do not give ibuprofen to a child under 3 months or under 5kg
do not give ibuprofen to children with asthma