Fever is common in young children. It is the body’s natural defense against infections. When your child has an infection, your child’s body will activate its immune system and raise its temperature above normal to fight it. The normal range of body temperature at the armpit is between 34.7 and 37.4 C. The Asian Pediatric Fever Working Group defines fever as a rise in temperature over 37.5 C.
If you have young children, it is best to always have a digital thermometer handy in your home. Due to the potential for mercury exposure or ingestion, glass mercury thermometers have been phased out and are no longer recommended.
See the doctor immediately if your child:
· Has a convulsion
· Is difficult to awaken
· Has difficulty swallowing, feeding or drinking
· Is sitting quietly and the fontanelle (soft spot in the top of the head) is bulging
· Has signs of dehydration
· Is listless or irritable, has a very bad headache or stomachache, vomits repeatedly or has any other symptoms causing significant discomfort
· Has a temperature of 39 C or higher (or 38 C for children less than 3 months)
· Has a fever lasting more than 3 to 5 days
· Cries if you touch or move him or her
· Has redness, swelling or tenderness around the eye, arm or leg
· Walks with a limp or refuses to move a leg or arm
· Has difficulty breathing even after his nose is cleared
· Has purple spots on the skin that do not blanch (turn white) when pressed firmly
Also consult the doctor if:
· You are worried about the child’s condition
· You feel that you are unable to care for the child
When it comes to fever relief, UBM Medica explains that Paracetamol is one of the safest and most commonly used over-the-counter (OTC) medicines.
The correct dose of Paracetamol does not depend on the child’s age, but on his weight. The optimum dose of Paracetamol is 15 mg per kilogram. In other words, if your child weighs 10 kg he should be given 150 mg Paracetamol per dose. This dose should be given once every 4 – 6 hours, up to 4 times per day if needed. Remember that ‘mg’ is a measure of weight and ‘mL’ is a measure of fluid volume. For your convenience and to ensure your child gets the right amount of medication for his fever, children’s Paracetamol (Calpol) provides a weight-based dosage table on the bottle and box labels for your easy reference.
Pediatricians agree, weight based dosing of Paracetamol is always the right way to go to fight your child’s fever.
Fever in House! A Parents’ guide to dealing with Fever. Asian Pediatric Fever Working Group.
Mayo Clinic Website
Dr. Michael Jones, Medical Editor, UBM Medica Australia Website*
*UBM Medica is a leading healthcare media company providing solutions to a global healthcare market. They provide reference data, decision support solutions, news and education to communities of general practitioners, specialist doctors, pharmacists, nurses and patients.