Fever is extremely common in children and usually suggests that your child has an infection. Your child has a fever if their temperature is over 38°C( 100.4 F). Most children recover quickly with minimal or no treatment. Useful facts regarding fever include:
Fever is common in babies up to 48 hours after receiving immunisations.
It is okay to give paracetamol after Men B vaccine ( 8 week vaccination) without seeking medical advise if your baby is otherwise well
Infants, especially newborns may get warm if they are over dressed, wrapped in a blanket or in a hot environment because they do not regulate their body temperature as well as older kids. But because fevers in newborns can be a sign of serious infection, any infant less than 3 months who has fever must be checked by a doctor.
Sometimes children with fever can have a fit. This is called a febrile convulsion and most commonly occurs in children aged between 6 months to 6 years.
Most of the time, the fit stopped by themselves and last for less than 5 minutes. Call 999 if fit lasting more than 5 minutes. In most cases there are no long-term effects if self-resolving.
Most children that have a febrile fit to not go on to develop epilepsy.
It is important to take your child's temperature carefully – you should use a digital thermometer
For further advice on taking your child's temperature please click the link below to the NHS website on how to take a temperature
Go to the nearest Hospital Emergency (A&E) Department or phone 999
Please ring your GP surgery or call NHS 111 - dial 111
Watch them closely for any change and look out for any red or amber symptoms
Additional advice is also available to young families for coping with crying of well babies – click here
Continue providing your child’s care at home. If you are still concerned about your child, call NHS 111 – dial 111
To make your child more comfortable, you may want to lower their temperature using liquid paracetamol/ ibuprofen (e.g. calpol/other brands). This should be given on the advice of a health professional in babies under 3 months of age with fever will need medical attention.
Do not give more than the maximum recommended daily dose of medicine. However, remember that fever is a normal response that may help the body to fight infection and paracetamol will not get rid of it entirely. Medicines are helpful in reducing the discomfort associated with fever.
Avoid sponging your baby with tepid water – it doesn’t actually reduce your baby's temperature and may cause hypothermia ( Low body temperature). Babies with fever should not be underdressed or overwrapped.
Encourage them to drink plenty of feeds.
There are different types of paracetamol for children of different ages including 2 different strengths of syrup - infant and Six plus. Always read the dose instructions carefully. You must wait at least 4 hours between doses. Do not give more than 4 doses in 24 hours.
Ibuprofen is available in syrup and tablet form. Ibuprofen is not suitable for some children. If you are unsure whether your child can take ibuprofen, check with your pharmacist or doctor. Always read the dose instructions carefully. Don't give ibuprofen if your child has not had a wee in the last 12 hours. You must wait at least 6 hours between doses. Do not give more than 3 doses in 24 hours.
Further information on how to give these medicines to your child can be found at medicinesforchildren.org.uk
Health visitors are nurses or midwives who are passionate about promoting healthy lifestyles and preventing illness through the delivery of the Healthy Child Programme. They work with you through your pregnancy up until your child is ready to start school.
Health Visitors can also make referrals for you to other health professionals for example hearing or vision concerns or to the Community Paediatricians or to the child and adolescent mental health services.
Contact them by phoning your Health Visitor Team or local Children’s Centre.
Health visitors also provide advice, support and guidance in caring for your child, including:
For more information watch the video: What does a health visitor do?
School nurses care for children and young people, aged 5-19, and their families, to ensure their health needs are supported within their school and community. They work closely with education staff and other agencies to support parents, carers and the children and young people, with physical and/or emotional health needs.
Primary and secondary schools have an allocated school nurse – telephone your child’s school to ask for the contact details of your named school nurse.
There is also a specialist nurse who works with families who choose to educate their children at home.
Before your child starts school your health visitor will meet with the school nursing team to transfer their care to the school nursing service. The school nursing team consists of a school nursing lead, specialist public health practitioners and school health staff nurses.
They all have a role in preventing disease and promoting health and wellbeing, by:-
Each member of the team has links with many other professionals who also work with children including community paediatricians, child and adolescent mental health teams, health visitors and speech and language therapists. The school health nursing service also forms part of the multi-agency services for children, young people and families where there are child protection or safeguarding issues.
If you’re not sure which NHS service you need, call 111. An adviser will ask you questions to assess your symptoms and then give you the advice you need, or direct you straightaway to the best service for you in your area.
A&E departments provide vital care for life-threatening emergencies, such as loss of consciousness, suspected heart attacks, breathing difficulties, or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped. If you’re not sure it’s an emergency, call 111 for advice.