How to Look After a Child With a Temperature
A child will develop a temperature usually because of an infection. Most childhood infections are caused by viruses. These DO NOT respond to antibiotics.
The following advice is to help you bring your child's temperature down and make them feel better.
WE SUGGEST YOU KEEP A SUPPLY OF PARACETAMOL SYRUP (CALPOL, DISPROL ETC ) AT HOME. IF YOU WAIT UNTIL YOU NEED IT THERE WILL BE NONE CLOSE TO HAND.
Take your child's temperature if you have a thermometer. The normal temperature is 37.0 degrees Celsius. If the temperature is raised or you don't have a thermometer but think your child has a temperature try to lower it as follows:
1. Give your child paracetamol syrup, the maximum dosage stated for their age.
2. Undress and unwrap the child. Most people wrap up children with raised
temperatures. This can be dangerous and will make them feel worse.
Clothing retains heat. Remove as much as you can. Much heat is lost through
the head so leave it uncovered. Cool down the room by opening windows and
3. Give plenty of cool drinks as fluid is lost with a fever. If reluctant to drink,
encourage small amounts of fluid from a favourite cup. For older children ice lollies
are usually successful.
4. Sponging with a flannel and lukewarm water will also help. Using lukewarm
water is better than cold. Remember to let the water dry naturally on the skin.
5. Repeat the dose of paracetamol every four hours as necessary. Most children
will respond to this but remember fevers often come and go over several days.
You may need to repeat the treatment several times as most common
infections last at least five days.
If the aforesaid measures do not seem to be working or your child remains listless and appears particularly ill, call the doctor for advice. It is quite safe to bring a child with a temperature to the surgery. They will come to no harm by being outside, indeed the cooler air may well make them feel better. We therefore expect to see children in the surgery rather than be asked to visit at home.