A child has a fever when his or her rectal temperature is 38°C (100.4°F) or higher or the armpit (axillary) temperature is 37.4°C (99.3°F) or higher.
• Complaining of a stiff neck or light hurting their eyes;
• Vomiting and refusing to drink much;
• A rash
• More sleepy than usual;
• Problems with breathing;
• Or if your child is in pain.
Also see your doctor if your child is under three months of age and has a fever.
The doctor will evaluate a child by obtaining
- A history from you and, if possible, the child.
- A physical examination
- A chest radiograph (X-ray) can be useful for diagnosing some conditions in the chest, lungs, or heart (including some, but not all, pneumonias).
- A complete blood count, electrolytes, and cultures are taken from a blood sample:
A complete blood count (CBC) is useful for diagnosing bacterial blood infections in very young children.
Electrolytes levels in the blood are useful for evaluating dehydration
- Urinalysis is useful to look for infections of the urinary tract and may be helpful for evaluating dehydration
You may want to take your child's temperature if they are:
• Unwell and feel hot;
• Irritable, crying;
• More sleepy than usual;
• Vomiting or refusing to drink;
• In pain.
There are three ways to take a child's temperature
1. Under the arm - for all children.
2. Under the tongue - only for older children.
3. Ear (tympanic) - for children of all ages. A tympanic thermometer can be difficult to use and may not be accurate.
At home care
Treat your child at home by making them more comfortable.
• Dress your child in enough clothing so that they are not shivering.
• Tepid sponging (sponging with slightly warm water) and fanning children with fevers is not recommended.
• Give your child frequent small drinks of clear fluid (e.g. water, diluted fruit juice, cordial). If your child is less than six months old give extra breastfeeds, cooled boiled water or bottles.
• Do not worry if your child refuses to eat at this time.
• Watch your child for signs that their illness is getting worse.
• If your child seems well and is happy, there is no need to treat a fever with paracetamol.
• If the fever is above 38.5ºC and your child is miserable or has other symptoms such as a sore throat, they may be given paracetamol. Follow the correct dose on the instructions on the packaging.
• Make sure when giving paracetamol for fever that your child has not had any other medicine containing paracetamol in the last four hours.
• Paracetamol can be given every four hours as directed on the bottle. No more than four doses should be given in each 24 hour period. Do not give for more than two days without seeing your doctor.
Consult at Aadil Hospital for proper medical dose and treatment.