Management of fever in children
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.