Fevers – what you need to know

If you are a patient of mine and you need homeopathic advice outside my office hours, you can get hold of me or another homeopath 24 hours a day, every day of the year, by calling 01628 476200.


41ºC/106ºF = Medical emergency, life is at risk.

40.5ºC/105ºF = Cause for concern – call for medical assistance.

40ºC/104ºF = OK for a short period – consult with doctor

39ºC/102ºF = A good fever, normal immune reaction

37.6ºC/99.7ºF = upper edge of normal body temperature range

37ºC/98.6ºF = average normal body temperature

36.1ºC/97ºF = lower edge of normal body temperature range

36ºC/97ºF = Feeling cold.

35ºC/95ºF = Just above hypothermia. Consult with doctor.

34ºC/93ºF = hypothermia. Call for medical assistance

32ºC/90ºF = Medical emergency, life is at risk.


Here is a printable version for easy reference: Fever chart

The average normal temperature in a healthy human is 37ºC/98.6ºF, but this can vary, and you can check your child’s healthy range by taking their temperature when they are well.

Most adults and children can run a fever of up to 40ºC/104ºF for a short period. It is normal for healthy infants and children to throw high fevers of 39.5ºC/103ºF and over with an infection. A temperature of 40.5ºC/105ºF is cause for concern. When it passes over 41ºC/106ºF life is at risk.

Fevers normally peak at night time and drop by the following morning, and a temperature in the evening may recur on subsequent evenings. A drop in temperature in the morning doesn’t mean the fever is over. It can rise and fall over a few days, so keep your child at home in bed if they have had a fever the night before. Delirium, tantrums and hallucinations can occur, which are distressing but not dangerous. Keep a close eye on your child and seek help if you are concerned.

Be guided by your child. They instinctively know what’s best for them, whether to uncover or wrap up warm. Sponge your child with a cool, damp cloth, on the forehead/face, and one limb at a time, replacing the cooled limb under the bed covers. Avoid overstimulation, so switch off the telly and the music, draw the curtains, dim the lights. Avoid tea, coffee, cola, sweet and sugary food.

Keep calm, and keep your child calm. Read them books, give them frequent sips of water, and plenty of attention.

Keep your child well hydrated, especially if they are vomiting or have diarrhoea. You can make a basic rehydration fluid of 30 ml sugar and 2.5 ml salt to 1 litre water, but normally, plain water will do. And if your young ‘un doesn’t want to drink, try popping them in a warm bath with no soap. This water may appeal to them!

The following advice is from WebMD


Symptoms of dehydration in children

You should be concerned if your child has an excessive loss of fluid from vomiting or diarrhoea, or if the child refuses to eat or drink.

Signs of dehydration:

  • Sunken eyes
  • Decreased frequency of urination or dry nappies
  • Sunken soft spot on the top of the head in babies (called the fontanelle)
  • No tears when the child cries
  • Dry or sticky mucous membranes (the lining of the mouth or tongue)
  • Lethargy (less activity than normal)
  • Irritability (more crying, fussiness)

When to seek medical care:

Seek urgent medical advice if your child has any of the following:

  • Dry mouth
  • Crying without tears
  • No urine output in 4-6 hours
  • Sunken eyes
  • Blood in the stool
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting for more than 24 hours, or vomiting that is consistently green in colour
  • Fever higher than 39 Celsius (103°F)*
  • Less activity than usual
  • Urination much more than usual

Call 999 or go to a hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department in these situations:

  • If your child is lethargic (difficult to awaken)
  • If your child is complaining of severe abdominal pain

* Please refer to my chart above, and be guided by the patient.