Child with a Temperature
Infections and teething are the main causes of children’s temperatures. Most infections are mild and are growing up and gaining resistance to germs. They are usually caused by viruses so they do NOT need antibiotics (these only help bacterial infections).
The following advice should help:
- Keep a supply of paracetamol medicine, such as Calpol or Disprol, at home. (Don’t wait to be caught out-almost every child needs medicine at some point). Do not give aspirin to children.
- if your child feels hot and appears unwell, take his/her temperature if you have a thermometer. The normal temperature is 37.0 degrees Centigrade (98.4 degrees F). If the temperature is raised or you do not have a thermometer but you think your child has a temperature, cool him/her down as follows:-
- Give the child paracetamol in the dose advised on the bottle
- Dress the child in loose clothes or a vest, cool the room down and let the air get to the body
- Give plenty of cool drinks, clear fluid is best. Give a small amount every 5 minutes rather than expecting them to drink it all at once
- Use an electric fan, if the child will tolerate it, try a normal temperature bath or shower and pour water over the shoulders
- If this does not work and the child is particularly ill, contact the surgery. We will always fit in poorly children as soon as possible if brought to the surgery: it will ensure that they are seen sooner.
- A child with a fever is likely to be restless at night, offer cool drinks and sponge their forehead if they wake.
Very rarely a child under 5 years will have a convulsion with a high temperature. The child suddenly shakes all over and becomes very still. It should subside within 5 minutes. Lay the child on his/her side and stay with them while it lasts. If there is another adult in the house, ask them to call the surgery, if not, call the surgery when the convulsion has stopped.