Pre School Nursery Children and Fevers
During a child’s first few years it can seem like they are sponges for germs, picking up a variety of common childhood illnesses, including coughs colds and fevers.
Although all of these are extremely common and in the majority of cases the children quickly make a full recovery, it can still be a stressful and upsetting time.
A fever can be caused by many things, from common childhood illnesses like chicken pox to vaccinations and is a natural and healthy response to infection.
Normal Temperature for Young Children
- A normal temperature within a child is around 36.4C but this can vary slightly from child to child.
- A fever is a high temperature of 38C or more
- A fever is the body’s way of fighting or killing off infections like coughs and colds.
The most accurate way of checking your child’s temperature is to use a digital thermometer, although there may also be some other visuals present:
- Feeling hotter to the touch, on their forehead, back or tummy
- Feeling sweaty or clammy
- Red cheeks
The child can usually be cared for at home and the temperature normally subsides within a few days. If you are worried about your child seek medical advice.
- Give them plenty of fluids
- Offer foods, favourite foods or softer/colder foods if suffering from sore throat/tonsillitis
- Check on your child regularly during the night
- Keep them at home and offer quieter activities
- Give them paracetamol or ibuprofen to reduce the fever
- Do not undress your child or sponge them down to cool them
- Do not wrap them up in layers
- Do not give asprin to under 16s
- Do not give ibuprofen and paracetamol, unless advised by a GP
- Do not give paracetamol to a child under 2 months
- Do not give ibuprofen to a child under 3 months or under 5kg
- Do not give ibuprofen to a child with asthma
- When To Call Emergency Services
- Get an urgent GP appointment or call 111 if your child shows any of the following:
- Is under 3 months old and has a temperature of 38c or above
- Is 3-6 months old and has a temperature of 39c or above
- Has other signs of illness, such as a rash as well as a high temperature
- Proves a high temperature that’s lasted for 5 days or more
- Does not want to eat
- Temperature does not come down with paracetamol or nurofen
- Showing signs of dehydration, such as nappies are not wet, sunken eyes, no tears when crying.
How Common is a Fever In Children?
It’s quite rare for a fever to be a sign of anything more serious but it is important that you know the signs and what to look out for.
Call 999 or go straight to A&E if your child:
- Has a stiff neck
- Has a rash that does not fade when you press a glass against it
- Is bothered by light
- Has a fit ( febrile seizure ) for the first time ( they cannot stop shaking )
- Has unusually cold hands and feet
- Has pale, blotchy, blue or grey skin
- Has a weak, high pitched cry that’s not like their normal cry
- Is drowsy and hard to wake
- Finds it hard to breathe and sucks their stomach in under their ribs
- Has a soft spot on their head that curves outwards ( bulging fontanelle)
Further advice and guidance can be found at www.nhs.uk
REMEMBER, YOU know your child better than anyone else, therefore if you are concerned or worried seek medical advice.
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