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What To Do When Your Child Has a Fever?

1月 15, 2022

 

Fever is a common condition in children. It is defined as a high body temperature greater than 38 degrees celsius. It is actually the body’s normal response, and may be a sign that it is fighting off an infection (e.g. viruses, bacteria). These infections can enter and invade the body from various different sources, such the respiratory tract, gut, urinary tract, or skin. Other causes of fever include inflammatory conditions, or reaction to recent immunisation. Take note of other symptoms that your child may be having along with fever.

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Fever can be distressing to both the child and their caregiver. A child may feel lethargic, irritable or crying more, shivering or having chills, in pain, and losing their appetite.

 

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How to address a fever at home

  • Encourage them to drink more fluids. This is to maintain their hydration, even if they are refusing to eat.
  • Continue breastfeeding or formula feeding if your child is younger than 6 months
  • Fever medications such as paracetamol may be given to relieve the discomfort associated with fever. Be careful to follow dosage instruction on the label, or consult with your doctor first.
  • Administer tepid sponging – wipe down your child’s forehead and/or body with a wet towel, to bring down their body temperature. Use lukewarm/tap water only.
  • Monitor closely for any worsening of their illness.
  • See a doctor if in any doubt.

 

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When to see a doctor

  • If your infant is less than 3 months old and has a fever, it is best for them to be assessed early
  • If your child’s fever lasts more than five days
  • Your child’s fever does not come down with fever reducers.
  • Your child was recently immunized and has a fever for more than 48 hours
  • You are concerned

 

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When to bring your child to the Emergency Department 

  • Fever is greater than 40 degrees celsius, or 38 degrees if less than 3 months old
  • Unrousable – cannot be woken up or very drowsy
  • Unable to eat or drink
  • Not their usual selves – e.g. confused, crying and unable to be settled
  • Not producing as much urine output than usual
  • Has difficulty breathing
  • Skin colour appears blue/grey/pale
  • Has a fit (seizure/convulsion)
  • Any other signs that are of serious concern to you

 

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