Fever in Children

By Joshua Ng (Pharmacist, Caring Pharmacy) | Malaysia | Tue Oct 02, 2018 11:51am

How a Fever occurs

The human body has a thermostat which regulates the body temperature. The normal human body temperature is between 36.5oC – 37.5oC. When there is an infection, various chemicals are released in the body. This resets the thermostat resulting in fever.

Fever Facts

  • A temperature above 37.5oC is considered a fever
  • Fever is the body’s way to fight an infection
  • Fever is not life threatening unless extremely high
  • Over-wrapping a child in a hot environment can cause the body temperature to be slightly above normal
  • Fever caused by viral infections may persist for up to 1 week
  • Children with high fever (>38.5oC) may develop a seizure. This however does not necessary lead to brain damage.


Medications are able to bring down the temperature by 1-2oC. Do not be alarmed if your child is still having fever after the medication as the effects of the medication can last 4-6 hours upon administration.


  • First line of treatment for fever
  • To be administered 6 hourly if temperature is 37.5-38.5oC
  • To be administered 4 hourly if temperature is above 38.5oC
  • Do not use in infants less than 3 months old
  • Dosage is based on weight, consult a doctor or a pharmacist for the correct dose


  • To be used if body temperature is persistently above 38.5oC
  • Can be used if fever does not respond to Paracetamol
  • Do not use in infant less than 6 months old
  • Dosage is based on weight, consult a doctor or a pharmacist for the correct dose
  • Before taking ibuprofen, inform doctor or pharmacist if the child has any allergies

When to see a doctor?

If the following symptoms are present with a fever:

  • The child is less than 6 months old
  • The child is feeding poorly, vomiting or lethargic
  • The child has breathing difficulties
  • The child develops new symptoms such as abdominal pain or rash
  • The child develops a seizure
  • The fever does not subside in spite of medication treatment

  1. Fever in children. KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital. (2018) (Web accessed September 2018). Web link: www.kkh.com.sg/healthpedia/pages/childhoodillnessesfever.aspx
  2. Fever in children. Emedicine Health. (2018) (Web accessed September 2018). Web link: www.emedicinehealth.com/fever_in_children/article_em.htm
  3. Paracetamol. Mims Malaysia. (Web accessed September 2018). Web link: www.mims.com/malaysia/drug/info/paracetamol
  4. Ibuprofen. Mims Malaysia. (Web accessed September 2018). Web link: www.mims.com/malaysia/patientmedicine/generic/ibuprofen-oral




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