Fever Advice Sheet for Parents who's child is not admitted

Cork Emergency Departments

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What is a fever?

A fever or 'temperature' occurs with a reading of 38.0 °C or higher on a thermometer. Fevers are caused by many different types of infection – they are a natural response and are not generally considered harmful. Some are caused by bacteria and will need antibiotics. Most are caused by viruses and don't need treatment: antibiotics do not work on viruses. When your child has a fever, they may have some of the following symptoms:

How I know if my Child has a fever?

Children who are fighting infections may have a very high fever, sometimes above 40°C. A very high temperature does not put your child at particular risk of seizures. The height of a fever is not necessarily a cause for alarm: a child coping with a virus may have a temperature of 40°C whilst another child with a fever of 38.7°C may look unwell and need urgent medical attention. Always trust your gut instinct: how unwell your child looks is more important than a number on a thermometer.

Treating Fever

Sometimes, paracetamol and ibuprofen will not take a fever away. This is okay. The aim of these medications is to make your child feel better – the fever may remain while their body fights off infection. Giving paracetamol and/ or ibuprofen if your child is unwell will not 'mask' a serious illness or prevent a doctor from assessing them.

When to seek advice from a doctor:

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If you are concerned, please contact the Emergency Department you first attended:

Mercy Injury Unit, Gurranabraher (021)4926900

LIU Mallow(022)58506

LIU Bantry(027)52900

Content by Dr Sinead Murray and Dr Emma Fauteux. Last review Dr ÍOS 24/03/24.