The febrile infant or child remains one of the most common clinical problems that presents to family doctors.
- All febrile infants aged less than 3 months should be referred to hospital for admission, investigation and management.
- In febrile older babies and children, first assess for reduced alertness and activity, breathing difficulty, circulatory impairment and dehydration.
- Generally, nontoxic febrile children aged over 3 months may be managed as outpatients in general practice.
- Fever less than 40oC does not routinely need antipyretic treatment unless the child appears uncomfortable.
- Paracetamol can be given to children over 1 month of age; care must be given to explain dose clearly when prescribing because available liquid preparations vary in concentration.
- Ibuprofen may be given to otherwise well children aged 6 months or over.