Fever in children

Your child may have a fever if they are flushed or feel hot and sweaty (if their temperature is over 38°C or 100.4°F).

CALL 999 if any of the following are present

  • Your child is difficult to wake, or complaining of the light hurting their eyes.
  • Your child has a headache, stiff neck and light hurts their eyes and/or is very sleepy and confused.
  • If they have a rash that does not disappear when you press a glass tumbler or finger on it.

CALL 111  OR SEE YOUR EMERGENCY GP if any of the following are present

  • Your child is  not taking or keeping down fluids
  • If they have any other type of rash
  • If they have difficulty breathing
  • Your baby had watery or very loose bowel motions more than three times in the last 24 hours
  • Your baby has a fever, is  flushed, hot and sweaty (and the baby’s temperature over 38°C or 100.4°F)?
  • Your baby is also vomiting and not keeping fluids down
  • Your child is under one year old

IF NONE OF THE ABOVE APPLY…

General advice for managing a fever

  • Give your child regular paracetamol (e.g. Calpol) to reduce the temperature (check the instructions on the packet for the right dose).
  • Give them an extra amount of their favourite cool drink or ice lollies.
  • Make sure your child is not overdressed – a vest and nappy/pants is enough clothing for them as long as the house is at the normal room temperature.
  • Cover you child in a light cotton sheet when in bed.
  • If the condition gets worse or new symptoms develop or if you are worried, Call 111 or see the emergency GP.

Is there a sore throat, cough or runny nose?

It is safe to manage this problem yourself at home.  It is probably a cold or flu.  Ask your pharmacist for advice.

Are there any tender swellings around their jaw and neck?
feverchild

It is safe to manage this problem yourself at home.  It is probably swollen glands. Give the child paediatric paracetamol  oral suspension (available from pharmacists), and ask your pharmacist for advice (find your nearest pharmacist). If the symptoms continue, speak to your doctor (find your nearest doctor).

If your child has earache

If your baby has diarrhoea

It is safe to manage this problem yourself at home providing they are keeping fluids down, they are passsing urine and don’t look ill.  Watery or loose bowel motions are common in babies and young children. If the baby is otherwise well, it is likely that the diarrhoea will settle within 24 hours.

  • It depends how thirsty the baby or child is as to how much fluid they need.
  • For breast-fed babies:
    • Continue to feed them when they need it.
    • You can also give them extra drinks or rehydration fluids (from your pharmacist) between feeds.
    • For more detailed advice, ask your health visitor.
  • For bottle-fed babies:
    • Offer as much fluids or oral rehydration fluids (from your pharmacist) as your baby needs for the first four hours.
    • If their diarrhoea continues, switch between the bottle feed and oral rehydration fluids for the next eight hours.
    • Then introduce normal feeds.
    • For more detailed advice, ask your health visitor.
  • For older children:
    • Avoid giving them solid foods until the child’s appetite has returned.
    • Offer as much fluid as the child needs (avoid cow’s milk for 24 hours until the diarrhoea settles down).
    • Oral rehydration fluids (from your pharmacist) will also help.
  • If any new symptoms develop or the condition gets worse, call 111
  • If you are still worried, call 111
         

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