Saturday, February 14, 2009

What to Do If Your Child Have Fever

Normal body temperature ranges between 36 and 37 degree C. Body temperature that exceeds 37.7 degree C suggest a fever. However, temperatures level elevation does not necessarily be an accurate sign of illness. Fever is not a disease but is a sign of disease. Beside disease, child body temperature varies with time and his activities. For example, a child body temperature may exceed 38 degree C after he played football.

A Clinical Thermometer
Monitor your child body temperature when he is on a fever.
Is this a serious situation?

For less than 6 months old baby, body temperature which exceeded 37.7 degree C is a serious situation. If the body temperature stays high, convulsion (seizure) risk to happen is high.

What is the first action?
  1. If you suspect your child to have fever, take his body temperature. Then take his body temperature again after 20 minutes to see whether his body temperature has changed. Record each reading.
  2. Lay the child in bed and take off his clothing though the room is not hot. Child that has fever only needs to be covered with thin cloth.
  3. If your child body temperature exceeds 40 degree C, warm wipe your child body to lower his body temperature. Take his body temperature each five minutes and stop wiping as the body temperature fall to 38 degree C. Do not use cold water to wipe as this would shrinks the vein and prevents heat loss. This will result the body temperature to become increasingly higher.
  4. Give the child paracetamol syrup only after other ways failed to reduce the fever. Do not ever give aspirin to a child that shows sign of chickenpox or influenza because research showed relations between recruitment of aspirin and formation of Reye’s syndrome.
  5. Encourage the child to drink plenty of water. Give the child water to drink for several times in a day.

Do I need to see a doctor?

* Bring your child to see a doctor immediately if the child is a baby under six months old.
* Bring the child to a doctor immediately if the child experience convulsion (seizure), child ever experienced convulsion or there are among of your family member who have experienced febrile convulsion.
* Bring the child to a doctor immediately if the fever exceeds 24 hours or if you are worry with any sign of disease arouses on your child.

What are the doctor actions?

Treatment period depends to the cause of fever. If the cause is bacterial infection, doctor might provide antibiotic. If the cause is disease like chickenpox or influenza, no drug would be given. Only advice given about the way to ensure your child is in a comfortable position.

How I can help?

* Often replace the child bed-sheet and blanket him with thin cloth only.
* Put a damp towel on the child’s forehead.
* Do not wake your child to take his temperature. Sleep is more important to him.


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