A fever is the body’s natural response to an illness or infection and is a sign that the body is working hard to make itself better. A high temperature is just one way the body tries to fight off an infection – by raising the temperature it makes it harder for the infection to survive and helps activate the body’s immune system.
Fever in babies is common. This is because a baby’s immune system is still developing and hasn’t had time to build up its defences against the many viruses and bacteria that are all around us. Your baby may get a fever, for example, when they have an infection caused by a virus (like a cold) or a bacteria (such as an ear infection). Infections can happen quite often with some babies and toddlers having as many as 8-10 colds a year before they turn 2 years old!
A fever doesn’t necessarily mean that your baby has a serious illness – but a high temperature does let you know they are sick and need extra care and attention.
A fever is when your baby’s body temperature is higher than 38°C – but how do you know if they have a fever?
The best way to measure your child’s temperature depends on their age and the type of thermometer you have:
If you are not sure, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or Maternal and Child Health Nurse, they will be able to show you the correct way to use your thermometer and answer any questions.
LEARN more about Baby temperature ranges
While a high temperature can be worrying – it’s important to watch out for other symptoms that may appear at the same time that may be linked to the high temperature or the illness causing the fever.
You may notice a range of baby ‘fever’ symptoms such as:
When your baby has a fever there are a few simple things you can do to help them to feel more comfortable and manage the fever, including:
While a high temperature doesn’t necessarily mean that your baby has a serious illness – it’s important to know when to seek medical advice:
Some symptoms require urgent medical attention – whatever the child’s age – and these include:
ALWAYS READ THE LABEL AND FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS FOR USE. INCORRECT USE COULD BE HARMFUL.