Fevers occur as a result of your immune system trying to fight off infection. Contrary to what people may think, fevers are not a direct symptom of illness but they are a common side-effect. However, they can cause discomfort, particularly in young children, so it is best to be prepared if you have kids at home. Keep a thermometer as part of your first aid kit as you will need to check your child’s temperature regularly if you suspect a fever. Treating a fever is not necessary in adults if the fever is below 38.9°C as it is not usually dangerous. In children, even a slight elevation in temperature above 37°C could be dangerous and you should seek medical help. You can take a child’s temperature rectally, orally or you can place a thermometer under the arm.
If your baby is under three months old and has a temperature of 38°C, seek medical help. If your baby is older than three months with a temperature of 38.9°C you should seek medical help immediately. You should also seek medical attention if your child is under two and has a fever longer than a day or if your child is over two and has a fever for more than two days. Adults may have a fever as a result of a mild infection but a fever that lasts longer than three days may be cause for concern. If your child has any accompanying symptoms such as a skin rash, sore throat, vomiting, appearing confused or a stiff neck and sensitivity to light then you should contact a doctor immediately.
Fevers and infection
Treating a fever is not normally necessary unless your doctor tells you to but it is important to seek medical attention if you have other accompanying symptoms. You may have contracted an infection from another person or you may have contracted it if you had a recent hospital stay. Illnesses which have been contracted while you have been in hospital may have been due to hygiene issues or poor sterilisation of instruments and equipment. If you have contracted an infection in hospital and there is evidence of negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.
Accident Advice Helpline are available to help those who have suffered and injury or illness because someone else was at fault. Contact us via our website or our free 24-hour phone line to discuss claiming compensation for your illness. Call us free on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone for free, no obligation advice about making a claim.