Fever is one of the commonest reasons for seeking pediatric care. Many parents have unrealistic fears regarding fever. Many physicians treat fevers vigorously to relieve these concerns. Parent education in the following areas may be helpful: a definition of fever, including diurnal variation; a demonstration of how to take axilary, rectal, and oral temperatures; guidelines for retaking the temperature in febrile children; a reminder that fevers can be helpful in fighting infections; clarification that fever by itself is rarely harmful below 41.7°C; recommendations for when to use antipyretics, including clarification of appropriate dosages; recommendations for sponging; and guidelines for when to call the child's physician, with an emphasis on observation of the child rather than the level of fever. If parents are instructed about fever, inappropriate telephone calls, unnecessary office visits, and the giving of antipyretics to afebrile children can be reduced.
- Copyright © 1984 by the American Academy of Pediatrics