A high temperature, also known as a fever, is usually a symptom of a medical condition, such as an infection or inflammation in the body.
A person is said to have a fever if their temperature is 38C or higher.
Taking your temperature is the best way to tell if you (or someone else) have a fever. To do so, you will need a thermometer.
There are several types of thermometers. These can be bought from a pharmacy, and include:
To take a person’s temperature, you should begin by cleaning the thermometer. Read the manufacturer's instructions because different thermometers work differently.
In general, you should place a digital thermometer in the person’s mouth or under their armpit. An ear thermometer should be firmly placed in the ear.
Before taking a person’s temperature, make sure they are not doing or wearing anything that may make them unnaturally hot and raise their temperature. This means they should not have their temperature taken:
Contact a doctor immediately if you or someone else has a temperature of 38C or higher and:
Find out when else you should seek medical attention for a fever.
How do I take someone's temperature? [Internet]. nhs.uk. 2020 [cited 20 March 2020]. Available here.
Knott D. Fever (High Temperature) [Internet]. Patient.info. 2020 [cited 20 March 2020]. Available here.
Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.