A fever is a higher than normal body temperature. It is usually a symptom of an infection or illness such as a cold or flu.
When measured by a thermometer under the tongue or arm, a child's fever is usually measured at over 37.5 degrees Celsius.16
A fever is the body's way of responding to infection or illness; however children with fever often feel quite miserable. Reducing a fever can help reduce their stress.
Don't hesitate to consult your doctor if you have any concerns about your child's fever.
When suffering from a fever, children usually show signs of illness such as sleepiness and a poor appetite. Look for a hot face or forehead, and a body that feels hot or shivery.17
Children aged over 3 years can usually report their pain symptoms, although it pays to observe children of this age as well for signs of pain, such as grimacing or touching the sore spot. In newborn babies and infants it's a more difficult task.
There are some similarities between the signs and symptoms of pain and fever as you can see in the table below.
|Screwing up of eyes||Pallor|
|Nasal flaring||Poor appetite|
|Increased heart rate||Fussy|
|Breathing rapidly||Breathing rapidly|
|Flushing||Hot to touch|
|Pallor||Not feeding normally|
|Finger clenching, thrashing of limbs, arching of back, head banging||Lethargic|
Children’s Advil Pain and Fever can help children feel more comfortable sooner, by reducing fever as well as aches and pains. It can provide up to 8 hours fever relief, including fever associated with immunisation.
Using a thermometer is the best way to check your child’s temperature.
Feeling your child’s skin temperature is not always a reliable way of diagnosing a fever.
There are several different methods for taking a child’s temperature using a thermometer orally (under tongue), rectally (bottom), axillary (armpit), aurally (ear), or superficially (wiping across forehead).
Your GP or health nurse can also show you how to take your child’s temperature with a thermometer.
- 16 16. Healthdirect Australia. Fever in Children. http://www.healthdirect.gov.au/fever-in-children [Accessed 22 February 2016]
[Accessed 19 November 2015]
1818. Management of procedure related pain in children. 2005. [Accessed19 November 2015]
1519. emedicine health, fever in children. 2015. [Accessed 19 November 2015]