What should the parents do if their children have fever?

Parents become worried when their children have fever. They consult everybody, get confused by different advices and worse, start medication without consulting the doctors. But fever is actually the function of immune system of the body to fight germs. The present article discusses essential remedial measures to be taken by the parents if their children have fever.

Every single parent becomes extremely worried when his/her child has fever. Parents start monitoring temperature, ask every available person about the remedy, sometime disturb the child asking about the condition again and again, and sometime give medicine without consulting a physician, which is, needless to say, is the most dangerous. In addition, they get confused when they receive different advices from different people. In this article, we would discuss how to handle the situation in an effective and proper manner.

Is fever really bad?

Fever is itself not a disease which requires treatment. It can be termed as the body's immunity is trying to heal the boy from the germs attacking it. The paediatricians unequivocally state that with some exceptions such as new-born babies, normal fever is natural and nothing to be worried about. Sometime small children experience convulsion during fever (febrile seizures), which is extremely frightening for the parents; but this is also termed as common phenomenon. Regular monitoring of fever doesn't change the course of treatment. The basic step is to make the child comfortable. So, the age-old technique of soaking a handkerchief with cold water and keeping the wet hanky on the forehead and neck is the most effective remedial measure. Adequate amount of liquid like juice (containing Vitamin-C) should be given to the children having fever. Nowadays use of essential oils (like eucalyptus oil) is gaining popularity, extreme care is advised while applying the same in case of children. Because the amount of such oils to be used in case of children is much less compared to the amount used in case of adults; and some children may be allergic to such oil.

Don't send the child to school

Like western countries, nowadays most schools and day-care centres in major cities of India have policies which require children to be fever-free for at least 24 hours without medicines like ibuprofen. This is necessary because the child genuinely needs rest and attending school may not help his/her study at that time. Moreover, the sick child may expose other children to the illness. So, parents must not insist the children to attend school while having fever.

When to consult a doctor?

The paediatricians opine that the temperature should be monitored rectally because the skin temperature can be affected by various external factors. If the new-born baby has a fever of 100.5 degrees Farenheit or greater, it is necessary to consult a doctor immediately. In case of older children, if the fever remains even after 72 hours, consulting a doctor becomes essential.

Concluding comments

In a nutshell, parents should not unduly panic in case of fever of their children. The child requires adequate rest and consumption of liquid. Juice can be given to the children for bringing back the taste. Applying wet clothes on forehead and around the neck is an age-old and effective remedial measure. Essential oils like eucalyptus oil can be used in very less and diluted quantity with utmost care. Most importantly, medication without consulting a qualified physician must be avoided at all cost. If the fever continues for more than 72 hours, consulting a physician is essential.

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Author: Sharmistha Panda29 Mar 2016 Member Level: Gold   Points : 3

The first thing that parents need to do is to keep calm and to not panic as is rightly said by the author. The author has also rightly put that the fever by itself is not a disease, hence the reasons for the fever should be ascertained by the prescribed tests by the paediatrician if any.
However, in most cases the fever does come down by the simple rest and water therapy. But it does give a warning signal if it recurs within a few days. Then it should not be taken lightly and the doctor should be consulted.

Author: Partha K.02 Apr 2016 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 0

Thanks to Ms. Panda for going through this article. My main purposes of writing this article were mainly two. I wanted to advise the parents, especially new parents, not to panic when their children suffer from fever. Secondly, I tried to state that parents do not require to visit paediatrician as and when their children have fever. Paediatricians/General physicians should be consulted only if there is no remission even after 48 hours or so. Generally the fever subsides by that time.

Author: Kailash Kumar02 Apr 2016 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 4

The average normal body temperature of humans is considered to be 98.6 F. Body temperature above average normal body temperature is called fever. There may be additional signs and symptoms of fever like sweating, shivering, headache, muscle aches, loss of appetite, dehydration or general weakness.
Generally high fever is considered when the body temperatures is recorded between 103 F and 106 F. Unexplained fever in infants and children is a greater cause of concern than in adults. It is recommended that a doctor should be consulted in following cases -
1. If a new born has lower than normal temperature, less than 97 F.
2. If an infant of age up to three months has a rectal temperature of 100.4 F or higher.
3. If an infant in the age group three months to six months has a rectal temperature up to 102 F and seems unusually irritable, lethargic or uncomfortable or has a temperature higher than 102 F.
3. Children within the age group of six months to two years who have temperature higher than 102 F which lasts for more than one day, but shows no other symptom. However in case the child has other signs and symptoms like cold, cough or diarrhea, the doctor may be consulted sooner also depending upon the severity of the symptoms.

Author: K Mohan25 Feb 2017 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 3

First advise to parents is that they should never get panic when the children get fever and that is the normal disorder which can be set right with the right medicine in time. In fact my wife used to maintain a mini medical hall in our house as our children used to get sick at late night and at that time getting a doctor or going to a hospital is risky as we used to live in remote area away from city. Those medicines are prescribed by the child specialist only and we try to keep the stock of the same if some set back in health is seen in our child. Any doctor would advise for almost same medicine to the child and hence important medicines line Ventroline, Sudafed, Calpol, Amruthanjan, Vicks, Eucalyptus oil, burnol, bandages and Dettol must be kept handy at home for immediate relief to child.

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