Fever - Diagnosis & Treatment

How is a fever diagnosed?

You can use the following thermometers to check for a fever:

  • An infrared forehead thermometer
  • A digital or mercury oral thermometer
  • A digital or mercury thermometer under the armpit. This is recommended for infants below the age of 6 months.

Each method may produce slight variations in temperature measurement.

How is a fever treated?

The recommended treatment for a fever depends on your symptoms. For less severe fevers, your doctor may not recommend any treatment. Once the immune system fights off the infection, the fever should subside naturally.

Young infants

If your young infant has a fever, your doctor may recommend admitting your baby to the hospital for testing and treatment.

Children above 12 months old

If your child is above 12 months old, you can give them medications such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. These medications can temporarily reduce fever symptoms and make your child more comfortable.

Seek medical attention if your child's body temperature remains high even after a dose of medication or if your child displays any severe symptoms.

Do not give your child any more medication until you see the doctor.


If your fever exceeds 39.4°C, your doctor may:

  • Perform a physical exam.
  • Ask questions about your symptoms, medical history, recent vaccinations and recent travels.
  • Prescribe medication and antibiotics.

They may also order blood tests or a chest X-ray if they want to identify the cause of your fever.

Tips on caring for a child with fever

To promote your child's recovery at home, you should:

  • Avoid cold showers, as shivering will further raise their body temperature.
  • Dress your child in light and comfortable clothing. Avoid overdressing your child or wrapping your baby in multiple layers
  • Keep your child hydrated with lots of water.
  • Provide a blanket during periods of shivering
  • Sponge their body using lukewarm water. You may use a wet towel to sponge their forehead, neck, armpits and groin.
This page has been reviewed by our medical content reviewers.

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