How do I keep a fever diary?

Fever is part of the body’s natural response to infection. Many parents become anxious at the first sight of what they perceive as a fever. Keeping a diary of your child’s temperature during illness is helpful, not only to your healthcare provider, but to yourself as well. Being able to assess a fever pattern can help determine the best treatment for your child.

How do I keep a fever diary?

  • Document the date and time of your temperature readings.
  • Document the thermometer reading exactly.  Do not add or subtract degrees, regardless of the route of measurement. Document ALL temperatures, even if it’s not considered a “true fever.” For more information on fever see our “When should I be worried about fever?” handout.
  • Document how the temperature was taken: rectal, oral, armpit (axillary), forehead. For more information on the proper way to take a temperature see our “What is the best way to take my child’s temperature?” handout.
  •  Document medication given, if any, including the dosage given.
  • Document how your child is acting (content, fussy, sleepy, playful, subdued, smiling, crying) and any other symptoms.

Click here to print a blank fever diary worksheet.