Scary and all as it can be for parents, a fever is a symptom, not a disease. It means the temperature inside the body is higher than normal and is usually a sign the body is fighting an infection of some sort. The most obvious sign of a fever is a child will feel hot. They may also be irritable, cry and be off their food.

Top 10 Tips

1. A fever by itself does not mean a child is seriously ill. However, you need to be super-vigilant with fevers in young babies.

2. Any fever in a baby younger than three months should be assessed in hospital, as it could possibly indicate meningitis.

3. Observe older children for a rash or for a change in behaviour. Their cry may be different, or they may stop drinking. In particular, if your child is lethargic and unresponsive, seek urgent medical help.

4. Take some layers of clothes off and give your child plenty of fluids to drink.

5. A tepid sponge bath using a flannel can also help.

6. If your child feels cold and is shivering, that means their temperature is rising. A light blanket can be helpful.

7. Be guided by your child as to how much rest or food they want.

8. Encourage them to drink to avoid dehydration.

9. Sleep in the same room as your child in order to monitor their symptoms.

10. If you’re worried, see a doctor. Remember, parents usually know best, so trust your instincts.

Latest news and features