Your quick guide to fevers

Too hot or not? Find out what your baby’s thermometer reading means

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All small children get high temperatures from time to time and usually they’re back to normal quickly. But how hot is too hot? Here’s our at a glance guide to what your child’s temperature means:

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36.4°C (97.4°F) : Normal.

37°C (98.4°F) : Normal.Temperatures can vary quite a lot within the ‘normal’ range.

37.5°C (99.5°F) : High temperature. Keep a watchful eye.

38°C (100.4°F) : Fever. Seek medical advice if your child is under 3 months old. Also offer fluids, and treat with an age-appropriate paracetamol or ibuprofen. Undress to nappy or vest and pants. Keep room well-aired at 18°C/65°F.

39°C (102°F): High fever. Seek medical advice and treat as above.

40°C (104°F): Very high fever. Seek medical advice immediately.

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If your baby is older than 3 months, her behaviour is often a better indicator of how ill she is than the reading on your thermometer. If she also seems very sleepy, is breathing strangely, has a fit, has a rash, is being sick or won’t drink, always seek medical advice.

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