Night-time fever assault

kidocAged 4, middle of the night and I was not well. The lights came on, something was stuck under my tongue, and then I was plunged into a cool bath. As a kid this was abduction followed by waterboarding. Childhood memory filed under nightmare. Thanks Mum. Might explain why I was never a good swimmer.

Fever is concerning for docs and Mums but for different reasons. For doctors the concern is identifying the cause, particularly in very young infants. However parents mistakenly believe fever is a problem and needs to be treated, hence the plunging of toddlers into cool baths. So here are a few facts about fever.
• Fever itself, cannot cause any serious damage
• A fever helps fight viruses and bacteria
• Convulsions in fever occur in only 3% of children and these occur at any temperature and cannot be lessened by medications or cooling
• The source of the fever particularly in infants needs to be determined.
• Treat the child not the fever. If he or she feels unwell simple analgesics are useful.
• Alternating between nurofen and panadol is of no medical benefit
• Treating fever potentially prolongs the illness
• …..and finally Mum…Cooling infants and toddler in baths is a definite no.

One thing though, I never faked a fever to get a day off after that experience.

For more information on fever click here.

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