Temperatures and thermometers

Temperatures and thermometers

The most common reason for a child to have a raised temperature is because they are fighting off an infection.

Key messages

  • body temperature by itself does not tell you how sick your child is
  • regardless of whether your child has a fever or not, if you think they are unwell and you are worried, see your doctor
  • in babies, an unstable body temperature is very worrying. See your doctor if your baby has either a high or low temperature

Why take my child's temperature?

You might want to measure your child's body temperature if they feel hot. If they do not seem unwell, you do not need to take their temperature.

The most common reason for a child to have a raised temperature is because they are fighting off an infection.

If your child is very young (under 3 months old) and they have a fever, they should be checked by a doctor.

For information about fever (high temperature) and what it means, see the fever page. For guidance about how sick your child is and what to do, see the page Is my child sick?

This page last reviewed 24 November 2015.
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