What you need to know about fever

What is a normal body temperature?

Although a person’s body temperature varies throughout the day, our normal temperature is around 37 °C (98.6 °F).

What is a fever?

Fever, a rise in body temperature above the normal level, is the body’s natural way of responding to an infection or illness.

What causes fever?

Generally, a fever is caused by viral infections such as colds, flu and chicken pox. Bacterial infections such as strep throat and some ear infections can also cause fever. An infant or child may develop a fever after an immunization.

When should you take your child’s temperature?

In most cases, your child’s behaviour is a better indication of the severity of an illness than the degree of the fever. If your child feels warm or feverish, you can take his or her temperature, but observing your child’s behaviour is sometimes more important than the actual temperature reading.

Digital or glass thermometer?

Using a digital thermometer is the quickest and safest way to take your child’s temperature. The Canadian Paediatric Society no longer recommends the use of mercury (glass) thermometers.