Fever is a common symptom of childhood infections that in itself does not require treatment. The UK's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) advises home-based antipyretic treatment for low-risk feverish children only if the child appears distressed. The recommended antipyretics are ibuprofen or paracetamol (acetaminophen). They are equally recommended for the distressed, feverish child; therefore, healthcare professionals, parents and caregivers need to decide which of these agents to administer if the child is distressed. This narrative literature review examines recent data on ibuprofen and paracetamol in feverish children to determine any clinically relevant differences between these agents. The data suggest that these agents have similar safety profiles in this setting and in the absence of underlying health issues, ibuprofen seems to be more effective than paracetamol at reducing NICE's treatment criterion, ‘distress' (as assessed by discomfort levels, symptom relief, and general behavior).