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Help! High temp!

(49 Posts)
SleepyCaz Fri 22-Apr-11 21:51:04

DS, aged 4 is currently in bed, half asleep, half delirious, with a temp of 38.8. He is on his fourth day of having chickenpox.

Early this morning they looked much better so took him and his sister to the park. I know, stupid thing to do. He had factor 50 on all day and wore his hat and t shirt.

However since going to bed at 7pm his temp has rocketed and Calpol hasn't brought it down. He now has the elec fan in his room and is sleeping on top of his quilt. He's a bit shivery though.

DH was livid when he got home and said I was stupid for taking him out in the 25 degree heat for 2 hours and that I have damaged him and made him very very ill. In my defence I didn't expect it to get as hot as it did and I got home pretty sharpish, but it was via bus. I'm an idiot, he's right. I just thought that a bit of sun would help him feel better and he'd been cooped all week, during the holiday. I really feel shit for him.

Does the fact that Calpol hasn't cooled him off mean I need to get him checked out? I just read online that sun was BAD for CP. I had no idea. Any tips for bringing his temp down? Can't believe what a bloody fool I am.

winnybella Fri 22-Apr-11 21:57:05

Isn't he still contagious? Not great for people on the bus.

38.8 is not very high, though and it's normal for a temperature to rise in the evening- I would give him some nurofen and see if that helps. OTOH there can be complications from CP...hmm.Go by his behaviour, not by the (not very high) fever.

Beamur Fri 22-Apr-11 21:58:44

Isn't it the case that once the spots come out it's no longer contagious?

Sexonlegs Fri 22-Apr-11 21:59:55

Nurofen for sure. DD2 had cp c a year ago, and was rough for several nights with high temp; delirious etc, and nothing to do with the weather.

Nurofen is the only thing that seems to touch fever ime.

Hope your ds is ok.

choc1 Fri 22-Apr-11 22:01:34

the sun will help to dry up pox, you are NOT an idiot at all.

So do you have any neurofen for kids? Calpol ok, but only lasts 4-6 hours, where as the brufen based medication lasts 8-12 hours.

temperature is OF COURSE the bodies natural defence to infection so it normal and natural.

SleepyCaz Fri 22-Apr-11 22:01:34

I know it was dumb to take him on a bus. He'd just been so miserable I wanted to cheer him up. It was a shit thing for me to do. Not sure if he's still contagious. He's asleep now and feels a bit cooler to the touch. Just had a drink of water too.

Any more ideas about keeping the temp down?

naturalbaby Fri 22-Apr-11 22:01:49

my baby had a higher temp but cause he was over 6months i just had to monitor it, it went down a bit a few hours later though. i would ring nhs direct for some professional advice.

TheOriginalFAB Fri 22-Apr-11 22:01:52

Phone nhs direct for advice. Being delirious is worrying.

0845 46 47.

ZhenXiang Fri 22-Apr-11 22:02:57

38.8 not so high, DD is nearly 2 and her temp was 40 last time she was ill. The shivering is likely to be the result of a rapid rise in temperature. Leave him in pants and cover with just a sheet. If Calpol doesn't work within 1 hour you can give Calprofen/Children's Nurofen. Lots of fluids. You can put a luke warm flannel on his brow and allow it to cool down, that can also help bring down the fever. Second what winnybella says about behaviour see here for NICE guidelines on fever, I've always found this a useful guide.

sundew Fri 22-Apr-11 22:03:25

SleepyCatz -38.8 is not high at all give your ds some nurofen as well if you need to get his temp down. Taking him outside today will have made no difference at all - although I agree with winny that the other people on the bus may not be too happy. Your DH sounds like a bit of an arse like he is over reacting big style. I can't see why sun would be bad for CP - you can find whatever you want on the web so I weould ignore completely.

DD2 hit a temp of 41 when she had chicken pox!! but she had secondary infections in her spots and just needed some antibiotics.

You know your ds best if his behaviour is different to wehen he has a fever with a cold / flu then ring NHS direct for advice.

DioneTheDiabolist Fri 22-Apr-11 22:04:07

Contact NHS Direct. They'll tell you if this is normal. If you're still worried about his temp alternate calpol and neurofen, wake him up, strip him and give him ice-lollies.

lostlady Fri 22-Apr-11 22:04:24

Keep doing the Calpol with infant Nurofen too, being careful to check the rIght doses for each: I write it down as get confused! And keep trying fluids, don't worry re food. If temp won't come down or you are worried call NHS. Hope better soon

choc1 Fri 22-Apr-11 22:04:26

loads of cold fluids, brufen based medication and cool clothing.
you are doing the right things.
nhs will tell you to do what we are telling you to do, ring if it will make you feel better.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Fri 22-Apr-11 22:04:40

I would call NHS direct or you OOH Drs.

Being delerious doesn't tally with that temperature.

In the meantime I would give ibuprofen - works far better than calpol for my dc when they have v high temperatures and are suffering.

For future reference, CP is contagious until the last spot has scabbed over.

Hope he's better soon.

winnybella Fri 22-Apr-11 22:07:10

I think they're not longer contagious after all the blisters have scabbed over-about 6 days.

Sun can be bad because it can cause scarring- but you say he wore susncreen, so he should be ok. Your dh is massively overreacting.

Temp of 39 is fine, stop panicking. Give him some nurofen, don't cover him too much, loose cotton clothing, open window...

SleepyCaz Fri 22-Apr-11 22:08:06

Thanks everyone. Have just been in again because he was stirring and muttering to himself. Talking gibberish in his sleep. Is that normal?

DH apologised, but then said that DS prob has sunstroke. He did have SPF and hat on but maybe he has got sunstroke too. Aaagh shit mumming today.

hmc Fri 22-Apr-11 22:09:32

Err actually 38.8 is quite high folks! - albeit 39 appears to be the threshold for seeking medical attention.

Advice as per lostlady - i.e. alternative calpol and ibruprofen (can give calpol wait 2 hours then give ibruprofen, wait another two hours and then give calpol again), also I have found applying a damp flannel with tepid water quite effective.

winnybella Fri 22-Apr-11 22:12:11

Probably unlikely to be heat stroke, tbh, but could be, I guess.
It's normal to be delirious with very high fevers, but 39 doesn't seem high enough, tbh. Can you call NHS?

But stop putting yourself down, please.

winnybella Fri 22-Apr-11 22:14:57

hmc-when DD had a flu and a fever over 40, paed said that it's normal, to call if it goes on for longer than 5 days or she's behaving strangely (lethargy etc)

38.8 is not a high temp and is not dangerous in itself.

ZhenXiang Fri 22-Apr-11 22:16:48

My DD talks to herself in her sleep fever or no fever so could just be that he is dreaming. Sunstroke or heatstroke according to NHS occurs when body temperature rises about 40 see here.

sundew Fri 22-Apr-11 22:17:17

hmc for some children 39 may be time to call the doctor but not for others. dd1 rarely goes over 38.5 even when she had flu. However, dd2s temp will go over 39 even when she has a cold and I wouldn't start getting concerned with her until it hit 40.

You have to look at YOUR child.

Sleepy - I doubt you ds has sunstroke - he is just a bit unwell and the trip out will have done him no harm. Just give him lotyss of love and cuddles and I'm sure he will be fine.

I don't think sun causes scarring or picking the scabs. dd2 has lots of scare but this is due to the secondary infection.

winnybella Fri 22-Apr-11 22:17:41

And in your link it says to call a doctor with temp of 38.9 if the child is under 3- and that to see whether the doctor wants to see them, but it's not a big deal.

whydobirdssuddenlyappear Fri 22-Apr-11 22:22:03

It COULD be nothing to worry about, but equally he could have heatstroke or heat exhaustion. If it were me, I'd ring the out of hours doctor, just to be on the safe side. Usually with chickenpox, once the blisters come the child isn't really that ill, and if he's on day 4 of blisters, he's near the end of new ones.

DS had heat exhaustion (didn't get as bad as heatstroke) the other day after only about 3/4 of an hour outside, with a hat and sunscreen on, in the shade. I dumped him in a coolish bath, gave him calpol and lots of cool drinks until he stopped being slightly confused and his temp came down. It has got so hot so suddenly I think he didn't deal with it as well as he normally would.

hmc Fri 22-Apr-11 22:24:07

It actually says: "Call the doctor if an older child has a fever of less than 102.2° F (39° C) but also:

•refuses fluids or seems too ill to drink adequately
•has persistent diarrhea or repeated vomiting
•has any signs of dehydration (urinating less than usual, not having tears when crying, less alert and less active than usual)
•has a specific complaint (e.g., sore throat or earache)
•still has a fever after 24 hours (in kids younger than 2 years) or 72 hours (in kids 2 years or older)
•has recurrent fevers, even if they only last a few hours each night
•has a chronic medical problem such as heart disease, cancer, lupus, or sickle cell anemia
•has a rash
•has pain with urination"

hence the comment that 39 degrees appears to be the threshold

TurtlesAreRetroRight Fri 22-Apr-11 22:24:15

Okay, what is done is done.

We're just coming out the other side of chicken pox. DD is 9 days in and has scabbed over fully now. She had a very high temp for the first few days, it's to be expected.

38.8 is a fever but certainly not high and nothing to worry about in isolation. Do not focus on the numbers but on your ds. How is he? Is he suffering? Does he need meds for comfort?

Advice is to give either calpol or ibuprofen and switch to the other if the one isn't working. A HCP might advise you to alternate in cases where it really is medically indicated for a dangerous temperature or a child who is really suffering. But for a temp of 38.8 in a child that has an obvious cause for the temp, it's not worrying in isolation as I said. You shouldn't alternate as routine and medicating for a temp alone is not necessary. Of course he sounds uncomfortable so the Calpol or Nurofen will help with this.

Try not to let him shiver. If shivering his temp is going up and down too quickly and needs to be brought down in a more gentle and consistent way. Air circulating in his room, light cover if he's shivering but stripped off to loose cotton clothing, no layers. Plenty of fluids. Ice lollies are good. No sponging down or fans directed straight at him (fan in the room is fine).

Try to look at him and not the thermometer. Also try not to beat yourself up about what were good intentions. A little misguided maybe but you weren't intentionally damaging your child. If you are at all worried then trust your instincts and call NHS or OOH.

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