Fever - high temperature in children over 3 months of age

This means when a child feels hot to touch, when to worry and where to get help

Red - If your child:

Is pale with patchy coloured skin that feels cold when you touch it.

Has blue lips.

Finds it hard to talk, eat or drink because they cannot breathe properly.

Has a stiff body or keeps making jerking movements that don’t stop when you hold them.

  • Is crying and won’t stop
  • Is confused
  • Very difficult to wake up

Gets a rash that does not go away when you press on it. Press the bottom of a glass on the rash to see if it disappears. Press the bottom of a glass on the rash to see if it disappears.

Is under 3 months of age with a temperature of 38°C / 100.4°F or above
(If they’ve had their routine injections in the last 2 days and have no other features of being unwell- then give paracetamol or ibuprofen (for babies) and watch them closely. If their temperature does not come down within 30 minutes get help)

You need urgent help.

Go to the nearest Hospital A&E Department or phone 999.

Amber - If your child:

Has difficulty breathing, including breathing fast; pulling in their muscles below their ribs, between their ribs or at their neck when they breathe.

  • Has sunken eyes
  • Is sleepy
  • Has not had a wee or wet nappy for 12 hours if over 3 months old or 8 hours if they are under 3 months old

Is becoming sleepy or upset and you are unable to settle them with toys, TV, food or cuddling – especially if they stay this way when their temperature is coming down.

Is shivering a lot or tells you their muscles hurt.

Has a limb or joint that looks swollen, bigger than usual. A limb is an arm or a leg. A joint is something they can bend like their knee, elbow, ankle or wrist.

Finds it hurts to stand up because it’s too sore.

Has an eye that looks (swollen) bigger than usual.

Has pain that does not go away after they have taken medicine like paracetamol or ibuprofen.

Is 3 months of age or older with a temperature of 39°C / 102.2°F or above. (If they’ve had their routine injections in the last 2 days - then give paracetamol or ibuprofen but if the temperature does not come down within 30 minutes get help)

or

is 3 months of age or older and has a fever of 38°C / 100.4° or above for more than 5 days.

 

Is getting worse or if you are worried.

Green - If your child:

Has none of these.

They probably don’t need urgent or immediate help.

You need to contact a doctor or nurse today.

Please ring your GP surgery or call NHS 111 - dial 111. If symptoms continue for 4 hours or more and you have not been able to speak to either a member of staff from your GP practice or to NHS 111 staff, check your child has not developed anything in red list above.

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