Fever - Wath sall I do?
Pediatricians frequently see parents who are worried about their children having fever. It is important for parents to learn when the axillary temperature (the one we use in this part of the world) must be considered fever and what can be done in such a case.
During check-ups remember to talk with your pediatrician about how to act in case of fever and what medicine is adequate for your children, as well as the dose.
RECOMMENDATION: if you have already talked with your pediatrician about this, do not panic. Follow his indications to avoid rushing to hospital with the feverish child, which is absolutely unnecessary and stressful for the patient and the family.
If you have not informed yourself yet, do so; do not wait until you undergo such a situation.
Especial Cases. (To consult immediately).
Children under 3 months old
Axillary temperature equal or over 41º centigrades.
Patients with congenital or acquired immunodeficiencies.
Patients having fever for over 72 hours (WHY WOULD YOU WAIT SO LONG?)
Children having a background of febrile convulsions.
Having time to consult
As opposed to the cases mentioned above, in children over 3 months old, healthy children not having immune problems and with axillary temperature between 38º and 41º, fever can be assumed as a sign that something is wrong but NOT AS AN EMERGENCY, even more if the patient only shows 1 or 2 febrile episodes in less than 24 to 48 hours.
Remember that if your child has high temperature during the day, the episode will probably be repeated, what gives you time to consult the doctor at convenient times.
We sometimes see patients who are taken out during cold nights to be assisted in emergency rooms, which it is not necessary unless we are dealing with a child belonging to the special cases mentioned before. The first 2 or 3 febrile episodes can be managed at home, avoiding a noxious uncomfortable family situation. (THINK ABOUT THIS)
Many consider that the use of antibiotics is good to stop the temperature but to prescribe antibiotics the professional must detect a pathology which justifies it. Viral processes do not respond to the use of antibiotics and an excess of them only strengthens the bacterial resistance, increases the amount spent on medication and exposes a patient to unnecessary adverse effects.
LEAVE DOCTORS THE TASK OF PRESCRIBING ANTIBIOTICS.
We speak of fever when the patient has an axillary temperature of 38º or more, taken with a thermometer in the axillary area for 4 minutes.
THE HUMAN NORMAL TEMPERATURE VARIES FROM 35.4º TO 37.5º APPROXIMATELY.
WHAT TO DO?.
If your child has an axillary temperature of 37.5º and 37.9º:
Baths in warm water (like the one used for daily personal hygiene) for 30 to 40 minutes leaving it get colder gradually.
Wet towels on the forehead, axilla and inguinal areas are also good.
If your child already has a temperature equal or over 38º
The use of some well-known antipyretic (paracetamol, ibuprofen, dipyrone, etc)
Remember to consult with the pediatrician about the dose and secondary effects.
Talk with the pediatrician about how to act when dealing with the first febrile episodes and, once the advice has been given, take your child to the family pediatrician to have a check-up.