Fever

A rapid rise in temperature to 40°C or higher can cause convulsions.  A fever emergency is when the body temperature, taken in the armpit, is:

38°C or higher for an infant baby.
40°C or higher for a child/adult.

Advise the parent or caregiver to call the doctor immediately and follow his advice.

  • If fully conscious, encourage the casualty to drink liquids.
  • If the temperature does not go down, sponge the casualty with lukewarm (NOT cold) water for about 20 minutes.  Do not immerse the casualty in a tub or bath – the temperature will go down too quickly if the wet skin is exposed to air currents.
  • Dry and dress the casualty in comfortable but not too warm clothing.
  • Monitor the temperature and repeat steps four and five as necessary until medical help is reached.

If the casualty has a convulsion DO NOT restrain them.  Instead:

  • Protect him from injury by removing hard objects.
  • Loosen tight clothing.
  • When the convulsions stop, place the casualty into the best recovery position for his/her age.

DO NOT give children or teenagers Aspirin® or Disprin® as it can cause Reye’s Syndrome which is a life-threatening condition.

A downloadable and printable infographic of this information can be found here.

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