As you might be aware based on the survey we recently conducted, many UK parents still suffer from fever phobia, believing that even a moderate fever can cause some serious health problems.
This was confirmed the other day by an article in The Sunday Times(1), when Alistair Sutcliffe, professor of general paediatrics at University College London, warned that many parents were wrongly giving children paracetamol for mild fevers.
So where are parents going wrong?
General advice is that a mild fever is often referred to as between 37.5C to about 38C, and that a temperature in itself isn’t bad as their body is trying to fight the infection. However, as we know many parents do try to lower a mild temperature straight away but the problem comes with parents overdosing over the course of a number of days.
It’s very easy for children to be given more than the recommended dosage, especially is they are small for their age or if they are looked after by someone else without a proper handover.
The warning comes that giving too much medication can cause “asthma, increased rates of liver damage as well, but less widely known, kidney and heart damage” explains professor Sutcliffe.
However, that doesn’t mean that parents shouldn’t give paracetamol at all, as it’s recommended if the child is suffering discomfort – think ear infection – or in pain. Then medication can help to bring relief. It’s also worth noting that if a child has a mild fever and other symptoms such as being unusually irritable, unresponsive, weak, vomiting, suffering from diarrhea, has a loss of appetite or there are changes in their activity then you should contact your doctor regardless of whether they have a mild fever.
Keeping an eye on their temperature
It’s a good idea to keep an eye on a child’s temperature so that you know whether they are suffering from a mild or have developed a high temperature, which might need medical attention.
With our range of thermometers, you can easily, quickly and accurately take a reading in a matter of seconds. Both the ThermoScan® 7 ear thermometer and the No touch + forehead thermometer have features such as a colour coded display to make interpreting results simpler. The screen displays green if no fever, yellow if the temperature is elevated and red alert for a possibly high fever so you know exactly what you are dealing with.