Having a fever is no fun, but luckily there are many things that you can do to bring your temperature down so that you can feel yourself again. Read below to see what a normal temperature is, what you should do if your child has a temperature, and what medications you can buy over the counter to treat a fever. 

What is a high temperature for an adult?

Normal body temperature for adults can range from anywhere between 36ºC and 36.8ºC (96.8 and 98.2ºF), depending on the person. A temperature over 38°C (100.4°F) is considered high and may be a sign that you are suffering from an infection or a virus like a cold or flu.

What is a high temperature for a child?

Like adults, a temperature of over 38°C (100.4°F) is considered high for a child under five years.  Always seek medical advice if an infant under three months has a temperature of or above 38°C (100.4°F), or if a baby between three and six months has a temperature of 39°C (102°F) or over. Find out more information about fever in children.

What can I do to treat a temperature?

You can use over the counter medicines such as ibuprofen or paracetamol to help bring down your temperature. Both ibuprofen and paracetamol can be safely taken together, but please consult your CarePlus Pharmacist if you are taking any other medications or living with any ongoing medical conditions.

Other things that you can do to help reduce your temperature include:

  • Wear cool, loose clothing and use light blankets in bed
  • Drink lots of water to stay hydrated

What can I do to treat a temperature in a child?

Like adults, children’s temperatures can be treated with temperature reducing medicines such as paracetamol and ibuprofen. Try one and wait to see if your child’s temperature responds before trying the other; if your child’s temperature responds to paracetamol alone, there is no need to use ibuprofen. If your child’s temperature does not respond to these medications and stays the same or gets higher, please contact their nearest healthcare provider as soon as possible.

The dose that you give your child depends on their age; please consult your CarePlus Pharmacist for advice. If you have an infant under three months with a temperature of over 38°C, please consult your doctor.

Other things that you can do to keep your child comfortable when they have a temperature include:

  • Keeping them hydrated with plenty of fluids
  • Dressing them in loose pyjamas and changing them if their clothes become damp from sweat
  • Covering them with a light sheet and not bundling them up tightly or with too many blankets

It is not recommended to give a child with a temperature a cold bath or to pat them down with a cold flannel; just keep your child dry and cool where possible. 

Warning signs to watch for in children with temperatures

Most children recover from temperatures very quickly, but with young children it is important to keep an eye out for the following warning signs. Take your child to your nearest medical provider if they:

  • Are usually drowsy, unresponsive, or cannot be woken
  • Have a rash, or blotchy, mottled skin
  • Are vomiting and unable to hold down any fluids
  • Are breathing very rapidly or making grunting noises
  • Are not taking fluids and have not had a wet nappy for longer than usual
  • If they have a weak or continuous, high-pitched cry
  • If they have any kind of fit

If you have any questions or concerns about your temperature, or your child’s, please visit your local CarePlus Pharmacy and our pharmacist will be happy to help you.