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Management of fever in children

Practice guidelines - Posted on Oct 12 2016

This memo sheet offers a reminder of how to manage fever in children. Aetiological management is not covered (remember that the febrile child must be fully examined for aetiological investigation [checking for a severe bacterial infection, such as purpura]). 

Fever is defined as an elevation in core temperature above 38 °C, without intense physical activity, in a normally covered child, at a temperate ambient temperature.

 

Fever is not generally dangerous. A febrile child may present with a change in behaviour (apathy, anorexia, headache, decreased activity, etc.) which evidences, like the fever, his/her immune response. This situation may be uncomfortable and thus justifies treatment. The objective of the treatment is to reduce this discomfort and not to normalize the temperature.


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