This guideline covers the assessment and early management of fever with no obvious cause in children aged under 5. It aims to improve clinical assessment and help healthcare professionals diagnose serious illness among young children who present with fever in primary and secondary care.
In August 2017, we added recommendation 18.104.22.168. to cross-refer to the NICE guideline on sepsis: recognition, diagnosis and early management. We also added recommendation 22.214.171.124 to highlight that clinicians should not use a response to antipyretic therapy alone as a means to differentiate between serious and non-serious infection. A footnote was also added to recommendation 126.96.36.199 and Table 1 to highlight that some vaccinations have been found to induce fever in children younger than 3 months.
This guideline includes recommendations on:
- thermometers and the detection of fever
- clinical assessment of children with fever
- management by remote assessment
- management by non-paediatric practitioners
- management by paediatric specialists
- antipyretic interventions
- advice for home care
Who is it for?
- Healthcare professionals
- Parents and carers of children under 5 with feverish illness
Is this guideline up to date?
We are updating the recommendation on Kawasaki disease. See the guideline in development page for progress on the update.
Guideline development process
This guideline updates and replaces NICE guideline CG47 (May 2007).
The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.
All problems (adverse events) related to a medicine or medical device used for treatment or in a procedure should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using the Yellow Card Scheme.
Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.
Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.