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Fever in children

  • A fever is a higher than normal temperature, usually 38°C or above.[1,2]
  • Fever is not an illness in itself, it’s the body’s normal response to fighting off an illness or infection.[3,4] It’s usually caused by the body fighting an underlying infection, because raising the temperature makes it harder for bacteria and viruses to thrive.
  • Fevers are common in young children, but they usually improve on their own in 3–4 days.

Signs and symptoms of fever in children2

  • They feel hotter than usual.
  • Have flushed cheeks.
  • Feel clammy or sweaty.


When to seek medical help

See your doctor urgently if:2

  • Your baby is under 3 months of age and has a fever of 37.5°C or more or you think they have a fever
  • Is aged 3–6 months old and has a fever of 37.5°C or more
  • They also have a rash
  • Their fever has lasted for more than 5 days, or you can’t bring it down with fever-reducing medicines, such as ibuprofen
  • They are dehydrated – signs to watch out for are if your baby has sunken eyes, no tears when they are crying or their nappies are not very wet
  • You’re worried because they’ve lost their appetite or they’re not their usual self.


Get emergency help if your child has any of the following as it could be a symptom of serious condition:2

  • You can’t get their fever under control
  • They have a stiff neck
  • They are bothered by light
  • They have a rash that doesn’t fade when a glass is pressed against it
  • Their skin is pale, blotchy or blue/grey in colour
  • They have unusually cold hands and feet
  • They have a fit for the first time
  • They are drowsy and hard to wake-up
  • The soft spot on their head (the fontanelle) is bulging outwards
  • They have trouble breathing and they are sucking their stomach in under their ribs
  • Their cry is not normal and is weak and high-pitched
  • They have persistent vomiting
  • They are grunting
  • They are a baby with very fast breathing.


How to relieve a fever2

  • You can help your child feel better while they have a fever by allowing them to rest and checking on them regularly, especially during the night.
  • Dress them as normal – you don’t need to remove or add any clothing.
  • Give your child plenty to drink, and food too, if they want it.
  • Don’t use a cool sponge or flannel to try and get their temperature down.


Fevers in children

Around 60% of Irish parents worry about fever in their child,1 but it’s rarely a cause for concern.2

To help avoid fever in your child, practice good hygiene (washing hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm water, remembering to clean between the fingers), physical distancing to help slow the spread of germs and covering coughs or sneezes with a tissue or sleeve (encouraging children to ‘dab’ when they sneeze is a great way of getting the message across!).5-7

If your child’s fever is due to a cold, keep them off school or nursery until their temperature is back to normal, they’re feeling better and eating and drinking as usual.7


How to take a child’s temperature

Depending on your child’s age, you might need to try different approaches.

  • Under 4 weeks: Hold a digital thermometer in place in your child’s armpit.3 Putting it in their mouth or bottom is not recommended because it’s uncomfortable and there also are safety concerns, such as the baby biting the thermometer.3
  • 4 weeks to 5 years old: There are a few ways of taking a temperature if your child falls in this age range, including:3
    • Digital thermometer in their armpit
    • Infrared tympanic thermometer in the ear
    • Chemical dot thermometer in the armpit.
  • Over 5 years of age: In addition to the various methods for those under 5, you can also use a digital or chemical dot thermometer in their mouth.3


Why Ibuprofen can help

Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory that helps reduce pain. It can also be used to help relieve fever in children.


Why Nurofen For Children can help your child

Nurofen for Children comes in a variety of formulations for children of different ages starting from 3 months, offering fever relief for up to 8 hours.8 It starts to work on fever in 15 minutes.9

A kiss can help children feel better for a moment or two, until we can find something longer-lasting. Like Nurofen for Children. Ask your pharmacist for advice on which Nurofen for Children product is right for your child.



Nurofen for Children 100mg/5ml Oral Suspension 100ml/150ml/200ml

  • Suitable for children from 3 months and weighing over 5 kg
  • Available in strawberry and orange flavours
  • 150ml contains a syringe for use in children who won’t or can’t use a spoon, particularly young babies

Nurofen for Children 100mg/5ml 16 x 5ml Sachets

  • Suitable for children from 3 months and weighing over 5 kg
  • Orange flavour

Nurofen for Children 60mg Suppositories

  • Suitable for children from 3 months and weighing over 6 kg
  • Good for children who might be struggling with taking oral formulations because of vomiting, regurgitation or sore throat



Nurofen for Children 100mg/5ml Oral Suspension 100ml/150ml/200ml

  • Suitable for children from 3 months and weighing over 5 kg
  • Available in strawberry and orange flavours
  • Measuring spoon included in 100ml and 200ml for accurate dosing


Nurofen for Children 6+ 200mg/5ml Oral Suspension

  • Suitable for children from 6 years and weighing over 20 kg
  • Same effective relief in half volume dose*
  • Available in strawberry and orange flavours

*Compared to Nurofen for Children 100mg/5ml Oral Suspension

Nurofen for Children 7+ Chewable Capsules 12 x 100mg Capsules

  • Orange flavour
  • Easy to chew – no need for water
  • Useful for on-the-go


This article is for general information only and not intended as a substitute for medical advice. All information presented on these web pages is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. In all health-related matters, always consult your healthcare professional.