Many parents are over-treating fevers, giving paracetamol, (found in Calpol), and ibuprofen, as soon as their childs temperature inches above normal. But fevers in youngsters are usually caused by viruses that go away without medicine and without causing any damage, said the report for the American Academy of Paediatrics.
The report, which focussed on children older than three months, stresses that a temperature is often the bodys way of fighting an infection, slowing the growth of viruses and bacteria and enhancing production of important immune system cells.
Parents are usually advised to see the doctor if a childs temperature hits 104f (40c) or more, but Dr Farrar, co-author of the report says it is just as important to assess the childs other symtpoms. What were trying to do is get people to look at the whole picture, he added. Parents should pay attention to other symptoms of illness, such as whether the child is unusually cranky, lethargic or not drinking liquids and avoiding food.
Co-author Dr Janice Sullivan said infants younger than three months are an exception and parents should get medical help when their temperature rises above 104f. Other exceptions include children with heat stroke a medical emergency with symptoms including a fever higher than 104f, hot dry skin and rapid pulse and children with special medical conditions such as heart conditions.
She also stressed that when giving children fever-reducing medicine, parents should be sure to use correct dosing devices, not kitchen teaspoons which can vary widely in size and lead to over and under treatment.
Prima Babys very own GP, Dr Rob Hicks says: In addition to reducing fever paracetamol and ibuprofen also relieve pain caused by infections so can help make a distressed and unwell child more comfortable whilst he or she fights the infection. Its important to also consider other fever-lowering measures such as stripping a child down to his or her vest and pants, cooling the room, and using a fan. Parents should always read the dosage instructions, keep medicines out of reach of children, and seek medical advice if they are at all concerned.