How to Tell if You Have a Fever: 5 Key Signs

how to tell if you have a fever

Did you know that the 2018 flu season cost employers more than $9 billion in lost wages? In the thick of cold and flu season, it’s essential to prepare to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy! 

Are you feeling under the weather? Are you concerned that your child is sick? Let’s get into how to tell if you have a fever. 

Hot Forehead 

Chances are that your mother checked your forehead when you were young, and for a good reason. When a person has a fever, the forehead typically feels hot.

Why? When your body detects disease, the immune system kicks into overdrive to kill it and raises your body’s natural temperature to attack the bacteria or virus. This natural rise in temperature makes the forehead feel warmer. 

Feeling your forehead isn’t as effective if you do it yourself. You may be unable to notice fluctuations in heat. Instead, ask someone to touch your forehead to determine if it feels abnormal. 


Is your head pounding? Are you experiencing pain on one or both sides or towards the front or back of the head?

Headaches are common symptoms in fevers because dilated blood vessels can cause pain in the head area. Once the fever reduces, the headache symptoms tend to dissipate.

Bone And Muscle Pain 

Body aches are common, but they can be symptoms of underlying medical issues like fevers. The cold, flu, and other infections can cause body aches. This happens because your immune system sends excess white blood cells to fight off infections when they arise.

The result of this fight? The body experiences inflammation. Inflammation is what’s responsible for feeling stiff and uncomfortable.


Toddlers and infants may experience rashes, and these can be telltale signs of a fever emerging.

Despite popular belief, fevers themselves are not diseases. Instead, they are signs that the body is actively fighting an infection

Young children are prone to illnesses because they don’t have fully developed immune systems. Likewise, they may have increased exposure to germs from public settings (like schools and daycares). They are also likely to put grimy objects and dirty hands in their mouths!

Rashes may look like a single red patch or they may consist of several small, scattered pink dots. These dots often start near the bottom and spread upwards. They don’t itch or bother your infant, and they fade over about 1-2 days.

Temperature Over 100.4 F

The best way to detect a fever is through a thermometer. Medically, you have a fever if your body temperature exceeds 100.4 F. Anything between 98.6 F and 100.4 is a “low-grade fever.” 

Adults can take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help treat symptoms. However, you should take children under three months of age to a health care professional immediately. Both colds and the flu can be detrimental to their well-being. 

Final Thoughts On How To Tell If You Have a Fever

Now that you know how to tell if you have a fever, it’s essential to know the best treatment for your medical needs.

At Amory Urgent Care, we provide a variety of necessary services seven days per week. Contact us today to learn more.