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Fever: Quick Tips

How can I tell if my child has a fever?


Children with fevers often do not act like their normal selves and may:

  • talk less
  • be less active or play less
  • eat or drink less
  • be more fussy


Here is how to measure your child's temperature using the armpit method:

Armpit temperature
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An armpit temperature of 37.2°C (99°F) or higher means a fever.
  • Clean thermometer with cool, soapy water. Rinse.
  • Place tip of thermometer in centre of child's armpit.
  • Tuck child's arm close against their side.
  • Remove thermometer when you hear a beep (about 1 minute) and read temperature.
  • 37.1°C (98.8°F) or higher means your child has a fever.

NEVER use a mercury thermometer.

What can I do if my child has a fever?

  • Keep your child comfy. Dress your child in light clothing or blankets to help lower body temperature.
  • Place cool cloths on your child's forehead, wrists, and/or groin.

Can I give my child medicine?

  • If your child is under 3 months, call a doctor right away. DO NOT give any medicine.
  • If your child is over 3 months, you can give Children's or Infant's Tylenol, Tempra, Advil, or Motrin.

NEVER give a child Aspirin (ASA).

When do I call my doctor?

Call your doctor:

  • if your child is less than 3 months old
  • if your child has had a fever for more than 2 days
  • if your child is not drinking
  • if you are worried

Gillian Thompson, RN, BScN, MN, ACNP

Rahul Saxena, MD, FRCP

Karla Wentzel, CNS, NP

Amanda McKibbon, BA


Telehealth Ontario: 1-866-797-0000