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“Doctor, my child has got fever. It is still 102 degrees despite giving fever medicines”
How will you measure temperature?
There are three places where we check the temperature:
1. Rectal: checking temperature in the stool passage in the back
2. Oral: under the tongue. This is safer only in older children and in adults.
3. Auxiliary: In the arm pit. Arm pit measurement is the best and comfortable way for young children.
When the temperature is >99.5° orally or > 99° at arm pit you can say that child has fever.
How much one should worry about fever?
Fever is only a symptom and more than 90% of the times it represents a simple viral fever, provided it is less than 3-5 days. Parents should not worry about it, but should take some steps to bring down the temperature.
Persistence of fever in the initial 2-3 days is not at all a problem because most of the ordinary febrile illnesses will last for 5 days. It is better not to overdo things like giving medicine when there is no fever or giving medicines more than 4-5 times in a day.
Is fever can be beneficial ?
There are lot of scientific studies which say that fever is beneficial to the body because immune system functions well in the presence of high body temperature and clears the infection better. At the same time we also realize that fever leads to disadvantages such as: Febrile fits in children prone for that, body pain, tiredness and discomfort. So fever needs to be treated to bring down to a reasonable temperature by using safe medicines at safe dosage.
How to treat fever?
Though there are many fever medicines Paracetamol is the best drug as for as the efficacy and safety are concerned. Never give more than what is prescribed by your doctor. It is quite natural that fever may persist despite giving medicines in the first 2-3 days of illness. Only one type or strength of fever medicines should be kept at home. Before giving medicines we should check the strength of medicine. Following these rules will prevent accidental overdose of this otherwise safe medicine. Parents should remains calm and vigilant looking for warning signs other than fever which needs hospitalization. Fever is a nuisance like a barking dog, overdoing the treatment will lead to serious problems than fever itself. Let us not bring in tigers and lion to kill cockroach.
What are the warning signs?
Breathing difficulty, moaning sound with fever, not drinking feeds, excessive sleepiness, not recognizing mother\'s voice, abnormal movements like fits or bending the whole body, coldness of limbs, red spots in the body–presence of these signs indicate that child should immediately be taken to a doctor or nearby hospital.
What are the non medicine methods to bring down fever?
One should use simple methods like keeping the child under fan with minimum clothing or in air-conditioned room at a temperature above 25 degree Celsius, giving more liquids like coconut water, fresh fruit juice, butter milk and soup will help in bring down fever. Tepid sponging with warm water and not ice cold water is controversial. It may induce shivering and hence better avoided.
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