If a person is considered to have a fever their temperature is above 37.5C – normal body temperature is between 36C and 37C.
The common causes are colds and flu, infections of the ear, lung, skin, throat, bladder or kidney and gastroenteritis stomach bugs.
A fever can also be associated with routine vaccinations, as a side effect of drugs and even cancer.
But what are the best ways to treat one?
According to Boots WebMD there are five ways you can treat a fever:
- Fever usually makes a person feel uncomfortable, and steps may be taken to reduce the fever, by taking age-appropriate medication, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, but never aspirin in under-16s
Other homecare treatments for fever include:
- Drink plenty of water or other clear fluid. iced drinks or ice lollies may have a soothing effect
- Wear lightweight clothing and don’t use blankets and duvets in bed to avoid getting too warm
- Make sure the temperature in the room is comfortable and let fresh air in
- Rest and avoid heavy activity
The NHS does not recommend use of wet sponges to treat a high temperature or fever, as research shows it doesn’t help reduce fever.
But depending on age, physical condition and the underlying cause of the fever, a person may or may not need to seek medical advice.
Fever is very common in young children – according to the NHS more than 60 per cent of parents with children aged between six months and five years say their child has had one.
The health body says: “It’s usually caused by a minor viral infection, such as a cough or cold, and can normally be treated at home.
“A high temperature can be quite worrying for parents and carers, but most children recover with no problems after a few days.”
If your child does have a fever, you should:
- Encourage them to drink plenty of fluids – offer regular breastfeeds if you’re breastfeeding
- Only offer them food if they seem to want it
- Look out for signs of dehydration – these can include a dry mouth, no tears, sunken eyes and, in babies, fewer wet nappies
- Check on your child from time to time during the night
- Keep them away from childcare, nursery or school – let the carer, nursery or school know your child is unwell
- Avoid bundling them up in too many clothes or bedclothes