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Fever Temperature Chart

Body Temperature Ranges: Low, Normal, High & Fever


A fever is when the body temperature increases. Fever acts as a sign to show that something out of the ordinary is happening inside the body.

The normal body temperature range of an individual is around 37 degrees centigrade (37°C) give or take a degree depending on the individual. It’s important to note that normal body temperature may fluctuate due to several factors including:

  • Age and gender
  • The time of day
  • Recent strenuous activity
  • What was eaten and drunk
  • For women: where they are within their menstrual cycle
  • The temperature assessment method you are using

A fever occurs if temperature is measured at 38°C or over. Temperatures between 37.5°C and 38.5°C may indicate a low-grade fever. A high-grade fever is present when the oral temperature is above 38.5°C.


How to measure for (abnormal or) normal body temperature

Many people notice when their body temperature rises, but for infants and babies they are often unable to share the reason for their distress. For this reason, it is important to be aware of what a normal body temperature is and what is not.

There are several ways to measure body temperature:

  • Orally (taken by mouth): this can be done with a normal glass thermometer or with a digital thermometer
  • Forehead: there are special thermometers which are able to measure body temperature through the skin (via touch or from a distance)
  • Otic (in the ear): these thermometers measure the temperature inside the ear, which matches the body temperature
  • Axillary (under the armpit): measured here, normal body temperature is 0.2 °C lower than temperature as measured orally
  • Rectally (in the anus): the normal body temperature measured rectally is 0.3 °C higher than temperature as measured by mouth.

Common types of thermometers

There are different types of thermometers available, some with specific designs for specific uses, and certain types are more effective than others:

  • Digital thermometers (orally, anally, and axillary): fastest and most accurate results
  • Ear thermometers: measures the infrared heat released within your ear, but has to be placed correctly or it can give false results
  • Forehead thermometers: reads the infrared heat released from the forehead skin
  • Mercury glass thermometers: although accurate, they are now considered outdated because of the dangerous risk of mercury exposure

Self-treatment and medication to reduce temperature

To reduce a temperature to within a normal body temperature range, helpful self-treatment options may include:

  • Rest
  • Remaining hydrated
  • Using a cold compress to aid comfort

There are also medications, either over the counter or prescribed, that can be taken. Some of the most common over-the-counter prescribed medication includes the following:

  • Ibuprofen (such as Advil)
  • Paracetamol

Understanding the normal body temperature for adults, children and babies is important as this vital sign provides insight into what is happening within our bodies. By knowing what a normal body temperature is, what variations are healthy, and which are not, and the associated signs and symptoms that can highlight an underlying serious health concern, we can all stay safe and well.


FAQs

Ibuprofen, at the recommended dose, is not likely to cause diarrhoea. If however you do experience any side effects, stop taking the medicine and consult your doctor or pharmacist.

No. Advil, when taken at the recommended dose, does not contain any ingredients that are likely to make you sleepy.

The active ingredient in Advil is ibuprofen, an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) that is a pain reliever and fever reducer. Ibuprofen is the active... Read More

Both ibuprofen and diclofenac belong to the same class of medicines known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs are commonly used to manage pain and inflammation (swelling and redness) associated with some common types of musculoskeletal disorders, and treat non-... Read More

Advil is an ibuprofen-based pain relief brand that has products to relieve pain and inflammation for adults and children. Advil’s products come in different solid and liquid formats such as tablets, liquid capsules, liquid suspension, and chewable tablets to suit various preferences across... Read More

No. It is not recommended that you consume alcohol whilst taking Advil. This medicine is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), which may cause severe stomach bleeding. The chance is higher if you have 3 or more alcoholic drinks every day while using this medicine.