Children and Young People’s Emergency Department
You have been given this information as your child has been diagnosed with a fever.
A fever is a high temperature, generally over 37.5C (99.5F).
As a parent, it can be extremely worrying if your child has a high temperature. However it usually settles by itself without any specific treatment.
Causes of a high temperature
Most fevers are caused by viral illnesses or infections. The body’s high temperature makes it more difficult for the viruses and bacteria that cause infections to survive.
Other conditions that can cause fevers include tonsillitis, urinary tract infections, ear infections and common childhood illnesses including chicken pox and whooping cough.
Treating a fever
If your child has a fever it is important to keep them hydrated by giving them plenty of cool water to drink. Babies should be given plenty of liquids such as breastmilk or formula. Even if your child is not thirsty encourage them to drink little and often, so that they are passing urine regularly.
You can try to reduce your child’s temperature by keeping them cool, for example keeping their room cool or covering them with a lightweight sheet when sleeping.
Paracetamol (Calpol) and Ibuprofen (Nurofen) work to reduce fever as well as painkillers. They can be used at the same time or at regular intervals in order to reduce a temperature. Please follow the dosing instructions that come with the medication to find the correct dose and frequency for your child.
When to seek urgent medical advice
You should seek urgent medical advice from your GP or NHS 111 if your child:
- Is under three months old and has a temperature of 38°C or above
- Is between three and six months old and has a temperature of 39°C or above
- Is displaying signs of serious illness such as persistent vomiting, refusal to feed, floppiness or drowsiness
- The James Cook University Hospital, Marton Road, Middlesbrough, TS4 3BW
Telephone: 01642 850850
- The Friarage, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, DL6 1JG
Telephone: 01609 779911
- Redcar Primary Care Hospital, West Dyke Road, Redcar, TS10 4NW
Telephone: 01642 511000
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust would like your feedback. If you wish to share your experience about your care and treatment or on behalf of a patient, please contact The Patient Experience Department who will advise you on how best to do this.
This service is based at The James Cook University Hospital but also covers the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton, our community hospitals and community health services.