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Dr Chris Steele

 

Fever Control


Too many parents do the WRONG thing when their child has a raised temperature. They keep the child warm with lots of blankets on the bed. The windows are kept closed and the heating is on because it is thought that the child should sweat the fever out of the system!

This is totally WRONG and is in fact VERY DANGEROUS!

The child with a fever has a raised temperature and should, therefore, be COOLED DOWN, because a raised temperature can cause the child's brain to overheat, and when this happens the child could have a convulsion or fit.

This is a frightening sight for any parent and can easily be prevented by correctly controlling the fever, so the child's temperature is brought down, NOT sent even higher. This type of fit is called a 'febrile convulsion.'

Here is a simple easy to remember fever control guide.

  • COOL ROOM - open a window, turn the heating off. If possible, put an electric fan in the room.
  • COOL SPONGE - sponge your child's head, neck and arms with a sponge or cloth soaked in cool water. If the child is prone to febrile convulsions, cool sponging the whole body will be necessary to get the temperature right down.
  • COOL DRINKS - plenty of cool or iced drinks. Whatever you child fancies, but avoid 'fizzy drinks' as these may cause vomiting if the child is feeling nauseated.
  • COOL BEDDING - probably one sheet with maybe a light blanket is all that is necessary. The child may even kick these off if he is uncomfortable. No duvets and no electric blankets!"
  • PARACETAMOL SYRUP - NOT aspirin. It has been found that a rare serious condition called Reye's syndrome seems to be more common in children taking asprin. Therefore, NEVER give asprin or medicines containing asprin to any child under the age of 12 years. Use paracetamol syrup following the dosage instructions on the bottle for your child's age group.
  • ANTIBIOTICS - if your child has been given antibiotics by the doctor do ensure that the full course is taken, even if the child is appearing better within a couple of days . Most antibiotics should be taken for a period of five days.

SO DON'T FORGET! Cool room - cool sponge - cool drinks - cool bedding - plus paracetamol syrup and maybe antibiotics where necessary. If fever persists or you are at all worried contact your G.P.