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Fever - What it is

Fever In Children


The human body has a thermostat which helps us to regulate our body temperature. The normal body temperature is between 36.5°C and 37.5°C. With infection or other illnesses, various chemicals are released in our body. This resets the thermostat, resulting in fever.

A few points to note about fever:

  • Fever is the body's way to fight infection. However, it is not just caused by infections alone.
  • How high a fever is does not indicate the severity of the illness that is causing the fever.
  • Over-wrapping and a generally hot environment can cause the body temperature of a child to be slightly above normal.
  • Fever caused by viral infections may persist for up to 5 to 7 days. A small percentage of children aged between 6 months and 6 years old may have seizures with high fever. However, high fever itself or febrile seizures usually do not lead to brain damage.


First line of medication to be used 4 – 6 hourly.

  • Give 4 hourly if temperature is above 38.5°C.
  • Give 6 hourly if temperature is less than 38.5°C.
  • Do not use in infants less than 3 months old.


  • Use only when fever is persistently above 38.5°C, 1 - 2 hours after paracetamol.
  • Give 6 hourly.
  • Do not use in infants less than 6 months old. In infants 6 months to less than 1 year old, it can be given 8 hourly.

Diclofenac Na (Voltaren suppositories)

  • Use only when fever is persistently above 38.5°C, 1 - 2 hours after paracetamol
  • Give 12 hourly
  • Do not use in infants less than 1 year old unless advised by your doctor

Do not give your child:

  • both ibuprofen and diclofenac at the same time as they belong to the same class of medications.
  • either ibuprofen or diclofenac, if your child has severe vomiting or a bleeding disorder. This is in view of possible bleeding from the stomach and intestines.
  • Aspirin unless advised by the doctor

Fever medications usually brings down the temperature by 1 - 2°C. Do not be alarmed if your child is still having a fever after the medication. Antibiotics are of no use in viral fevers.

Other Measures

  • Encourage your child to take plenty of fluids
  • Dress your child in light clothings to allow heat exchange.
  • Keep the room cool and well-ventilated.

Consult your doctor when your child:

  • is feeding poorly, vomiting or lethargic.
  • is very young, especially less than 3 months old.
  • has difficulty breathing.
  • is drowsy.
  • appears sicker.
  • has decreased urine output.
  • have new symptoms like abdominal pain or rash.

The information on Fever in Children can be downloaded in pdf format.

Fever - Symptoms

Fever - How to prevent?

Fever - Causes and Risk Factors

Fever - Diagnosis

Fever - Treatments

Fever - Preparing for surgery

Fever - Post-surgery care

Fever - Other Information

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth