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To think calpol is over used?

(207 Posts)
crunchymint Fri 25-May-18 10:02:22

Calpol is used frequently by many parents. But it is basically paracetamol and should only be used for pain relief. NICE say it should not be used only to reduce fever. That is because unless very high, a certain amount of fever in ill children is a healthy response. But many staff will wrongly advise parents to give calpol when it is unnecessary.

ILikeMyChickenFried Fri 25-May-18 10:04:41

I agree, we rarely use Calpol but the harm done is probably very minor and it can be hard, especially in pre-verbal children to know if they're in pain or not so I wouldn't judge.

ShowOfHands Fri 25-May-18 10:05:15

There should probably be a campaign to highlight the fact that in a healthy child, a temperature does not need lowering. Meds are for pain and discomfort. You're right.

Same with conjunctivitis . Rarely needs eye drops but is treated immediately with antibiotics by many HCPs and parents.

NoFuckingRoomOnMyBroom Fri 25-May-18 10:08:58

Of course it is, there was a programme on the BBC on Wednesday about this & other medication for children.

crunchymint Fri 25-May-18 10:09:22

I will add that I did not used to know this and was advised by a GP to give Calpol for fever, and did. So not blaming parents.

BuntyII Fri 25-May-18 10:12:55


All the scare mongering this week is going to our parents off giving pain relief when their child needs it.

Try going through severe toothache or a really bad cold without some paracetamol and see how you like it.

zzzzz Fri 25-May-18 10:15:38

That is because unless very high, a certain amount of fever in ill children is a healthy response.
Unless of course they have a low seizure threshold in which case they could have a seizure.

crunchymint Fri 25-May-18 10:16:20

I never take paracetamol for a bad cold. And was never given it as a child. Of course you give pain relief for toothache.

sahknowme Fri 25-May-18 10:16:58

@NoFuckingRoomOnMyBroom - do you have a link for that programme on the BBC?

crunchymint Fri 25-May-18 10:17:41

zzzz I am not a medic. But what I have read is that in those cases it does not stop seizures having. Unless a consultant has recommended it based on their medical history.

Shutupanddance1 Fri 25-May-18 10:18:29

Not particularly- I loathe giving my little ones any sort of medicine just because she usually spits it out hmm so I never know if ive given too little for it to be affective.

I do obviously give medicine when it’s needed but I don’t like doing it and don’t give it willy nilly for every little thing.

PuppetOnAString Fri 25-May-18 10:19:14

I’m pretty sure the latest guidance says that giving calpol won’t prevent a seizure.

BlueBug45 Fri 25-May-18 10:21:04

@zzzzz what crunchymint said - if the child is prone to seizures there is no research that giving paracetamol stops it.

zzzzz Fri 25-May-18 10:21:11

My understanding is that paracetamol will not stop a seizure (obviously) but reducing temperatures will. I know which I’d opt for.

1 in 20 children has febrile convulsions.

Smellyjo Fri 25-May-18 10:22:18

I always take paracetamol for a bad cold, i.e. If I have a headache or sore throat. I would expect my child to want the same pain relief and would rather err on the side of giving it in those circumstances when she is not articulate enough to describe her symptoms. I've always understood that paracetamol is used to reduce a fever - I'd appreciate pointing in the direction of evidence that this has changed?

MightyMucks Fri 25-May-18 10:22:49

There’s a bit of a moral panic about this at the moment because of a study which says that it is used more frequently than 20 or 30 years ago.

The DM, (which is doing most of the whipping up of panic and finger pointing at modern parents) has deliberately left out one important fact.

The formula of Calpol has changed beyond recognition from the stuff previous generations used.

It used to contain ingredients which induced sleep but hasn’t since the late 90s.

Of course parents used less of it when it was knock out drops!

IMO Calpol is only a problem when it’s used as a first resort instead of seeing if your non-verbal child is sad/cold/hungry/thirsty/lonely/sleepy first.

zzzzz Fri 25-May-18 10:23:18

if the child is prone to seizures
You do understand that ALL humans can have seizures???

sahknowme Fri 25-May-18 10:23:49

Found it:

bobstersmum Fri 25-May-18 10:24:56

Had my 12 month old to the docs yesterday as on antibiotics for ear infection but temp suddenly shot up yesterday which was the last day she was due to take them, he has given a lower dose antibiotics to take for another five days and told me to regularly give Calpol to keep her temp down. Is this wrong then?

crunchymint Fri 25-May-18 10:26:34

I guess the wider issue is that all medicine has some negative side effects. So it is best to only give it when it is really needed.

birdonawire1 Fri 25-May-18 10:27:31

It’s very disingenuous to say don’t treat a fever. A low grade fever where the child is still playing and is unaffected, fine, but when the child is lying there with a temp of 39.5, shivering, miserable and with every joint aching not treating is just cruel.

Anyone who has had flu knows the sheer misery of a high fever so I wouldn’t put my child through it.

Calpol given for pain and distressing fever within the guidelines is safe and efficacious. It is metabolised and eliminated from the body quickly and safely so there is no need for all this nonsense surrounding it’s administration.

If I have a cold I have a sore throat and headache and feel miserable. Of course I take cold remedies. I’m not a bloody martyr. YAB ridiculously U.

Look at the child, not the thermometer.

BrazzleDazzleDay Fri 25-May-18 10:28:05

My dd3 has just asked for medicine as she's been sick, tried explaining to her that it won't help her. I bet my dh would have given her some though, lucky he's at work!

NoFuckingRoomOnMyBroom Fri 25-May-18 10:29:18

Sorry Sah only just saw your post-yes that's the one.

crunchymint Fri 25-May-18 10:31:13

bobstersmum Christ I don't know. NICE say Calpol should not be given for fever alone as the fever is doing its job. But so hard to advise on individual cases.

jammiebammie Fri 25-May-18 10:31:36

I agree.
When dd was small, she had a febrile convulsion after a high temp - the doctors told me that I should always try and reduce any fever with calpol etc to try and prevent another one happening - had me on edge for years and I do think I gave calpol when it wasnt necessary - I think I was I’ll advised then and rarely give any now.
Side note, I think nurofen is better for most kid pains anyway!

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