Your Baby & Toddler - - A-Z Guide -

A body tem­per­a­ture that is higher than nor­mal. Nor­mal body tem­per­a­ture is be­tween 36°C and 37°C, but this

can vary by a few points of a de­gree from child to child. Al­ways know what your child’s nor­mal body tem­per­a­ture is when they are well. Fever is not an ill­ness it­self, but rather a symp­tom of a con­di­tion, usu­ally an in­fec­tion.

Fever is a body’s nat­u­ral way of fight­ing off in­fec­tion and is gen­er­ally not a cause for alarm un­less it is too high, lasts for too long and/or is ac­com­pa­nied by cer­tain other symp­toms (see treat­ment). If your child seems to be oth­er­wise well (they’re play­ing, eating and attentive) they prob­a­bly aren’t se­ri­ously ill.


Tem­per­a­ture rises above your child’s nor­mal range.

May be ac­com­pa­nied by sweat­ing, shiv­er­ing, headache, mus­cle aches, loss of ap­petite, de­hy­dra­tion as well as gen­eral weak­ness (not al­ways).


Keep your child cool, es­pe­cially if the en­vi­ron­ment is warm.

Do not in­crease lay­ers or wrap her tightly in blan­kets.

Bathing or spong­ing her in luke­warm wa­ter may help bring down the tem­per­a­ture. Do not use cold wa­ter, ice baths or al­co­hol.

A pae­di­atric fever syrup or sup­pos­i­tory, as rec­om­mended by your doc­tor or phar­ma­cist, may be used to ease pain and re­duce tem­per­a­ture. Usu­ally ibupro­fen or parace­tomal med­i­ca­tion will be rec­om­mended.

Never give aspirin to a per­son un­der 18 un­less di­rected to by a doc­tor. The use of aspirin has been linked to Reye’s Syn­drome (a life-threat­en­ing meta­bolic disor­der) in chil­dren and teenagers.

Push flu­ids and watch for

signs of de­hy­dra­tion.

Seek im­me­di­ate med­i­cal at­ten­tion if:

The fever lasts more than one day in a child un­der two years.

The fever lasts more than three days in a child over two years.

Your new­born has a lower than nor­mal body tem­per­a­ture (36°C or less).

Your baby is un­der three months old and has a tem­per­a­ture of 38°C or higher.

Your baby is be­tween three and six months old and has a tem­per­a­ture of 39°C or higher.

Your child looks very sick, is drowsy, lethar­gic, list­less, fussy, can­not hold eye con­tact (re­quires ur­gent at­ten­tion).

Your child has a rash, sore throat, vom­it­ing, di­ar­rhoea, headache, stiff neck or ear­ache (re­quires ur­gent at­ten­tion).

Your child has a seizure (this re­quires ur­gent med­i­cal at­ten­tion).

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