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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

What temperature would you give calpol at?

(48 Posts)
walkbesideme Thu 09-Jun-11 18:45:44

My daughter (2 yrs) has a temperature - no other symptoms except falling asleep on the sofa. She is now in bed. I suspect she is teething - she has 13 teeth still to come and none have come through for the last 10 months.

Her temp has gone up to 38.9 - should you always give calpol? Or let her fight it for a bit?

The temp only came on this afternoon at about 4pm. I'm checking her every 20 mins - I don't want to over medicate her if possible. Does this make sense?

belgo Thu 09-Jun-11 18:46:12

If she wasn't in pain, I probably wouldn't give it.

belgo Thu 09-Jun-11 18:46:57

just keep an eye out for more symptoms.

jubilee10 Thu 09-Jun-11 18:48:39

38.9 is quite high. I would give it.

headfairy Thu 09-Jun-11 18:50:12

for me it would depend if the child was uncomfortable... if she's sleeping and stays asleep I'd just leave her, making sure her room is cool. However if she were to wake (and she doesn't normally wake at night) then I'd probably give her a bit to help her sleep.

cedar12 Thu 09-Jun-11 18:51:41

I would definatley give it for a temp that high.

Galena Thu 09-Jun-11 19:00:58

It depends a bit whether she's generally a good sleeper or not, I reckon. DD was an awful sleeper (and still is at times) and so the slightest bit of discomfort from teething would mean she wouldn't settle overnight for hours, so we would Calpol before bed if we even thought she was teething.

However, if your DD generally sleeps well, leave her for now, ensuring her room is cool and keep an eye on her. If it goes much above 39 I think I would give it anyway (although I'd probably wait for her to wake)

walkbesideme Thu 09-Jun-11 19:02:50

Thanks for the advice - I've just checked her and it seems the temp may be on the wane. I'll see how it is in an hour.

CaurnieBred Mon 13-Jun-11 13:01:17

We took DD to see a paediatrician when she was a baby as she kept having ear infections. He advised us that anything over 37.5 you sh/could give nurofen/calpol and we have stuck to this rule ever since.

sneezecakesmum Mon 13-Jun-11 21:08:42

I think the maxim 'treat the child not the thermometer' is a pretty good one, but I understand parents may find this a bit scary! Do what your instinct tells you is also a good one.

PaperView Mon 13-Jun-11 21:11:21

We don't have a thermometer but i don't tend to give for fever alone unless they are burning up.

izpie Tue 14-Jun-11 03:51:16

That's quite high- I'd give it.

whitechocolatebuttons Tue 14-Jun-11 09:43:23

I would give the Calpol. Paracetamol lowers temp.

GailPro Tue 14-Jun-11 09:48:29

I would give the calpol. Our first DS we felt like you did, until he had a febrile convulsion and since then we give it quite liberally to him and his younger brother.

I felt really stupid as Calpol is very, very safe

McDreamy Tue 14-Jun-11 09:51:56

I would treat the symptoms not the temperature. And I would give ibruprofen first as it is more effective at bringing down a temp. Hope she is better soon, I hate it when the children are ill sad

buxomblonde Tue 14-Jun-11 09:54:21

You're right calpol is very safe, but fever is the body's way of fighting bugs as they live best at normal body temperature. If a child is feeling rough or miserable with a temp then you should give, but otherwise leave be. if you have a child who has had a febrile convulsion it is reasonable to have a lower threshold to give something, but there is no evidence it prevents fits as they are often caused by the sharp rise of a fever

bubbleymummy Tue 14-Jun-11 13:08:40

Caurnie - 37.5 isn't even considered a fever in a child. Very strange recommendation and completely against the NICE advice to only treat a fever if it is causing discomfort because, as buxom mentioned, the fever is part of the body's defence against illness - it is actually helping to fight it.

Gail, there are several studies showing that antipyretics do not prevent febrile convulsions and the NICE guidelines state that they should not be used for this purpose.

sneezecakesmum Tue 14-Jun-11 20:26:29

There is also a case to be made for what makes the parent feel comfortable. If your child has a temp of 39 and is very sleepy and grumpy it can be very frightening for the parent as no one has a crystal ball regarding the childs outcome. Feeling out of control as a parent is very unpleasant.

There is also an argument for making sure the temperature comes down with meds as any high temp that doesnt respond to meds can be serious.

Its always a difficult call though and there can be no hard and fast rules for every child and every parent.

ScarlettIsWalking Tue 14-Jun-11 20:35:24

Absolutely for a fever that high

bubbleymummy Tue 14-Jun-11 23:32:31

sneezecakes, but it can also mask symptoms. I know what you mean about wanting the temperature to fluctuate ( they tend to do this naturally and I would be worried about one that didn't) but I would be happy enough to do that using methods such as reducing layers, fanning etc rather than giving medication - unless, of course, you are giving it for pain.

There is so much misinformation and fear surrounding fevers. I really do think there needs to be more awareness about what it is actually doing to benefit the child and how the body works to fight against illness. I think some people actually think that paracetemol/ibuprofen actually fight against the disease itself so they 'have' to give it to cure the child.

mememummy Tue 14-Jun-11 23:50:24

give it before she has a fit!, when u have a temp u usually get a headache feel rubbish? she is a child she cant tell u she hurts u have to decide for her ibroprufen doesnt reduce a temp it is an anti-immflamitry not an anti-pyretic

bubbleymummy Tue 14-Jun-11 23:55:41

Meme- ibuprofen is an antipyretic and antipyretics do not prevent convulsions. Not all fevers cause discomfort either. I don't need a thermometer to tell me when my child is uncomfortable.

winnybella Wed 15-Jun-11 00:01:39

Febrile convulsions are caused by the rapid rise of the temperature, not by the fever itself, meme. As bubbley said, unless the child is in visible discomfort, it's better to let the body do its job and keep meds for very high temp/pain.

McDreamy Wed 15-Jun-11 11:58:49

mememummy you are correct Ibuprofen is an anti inflammatory but it does reduce temperature. Inflammation, pain and fever are caused by the body releasing a chemical called prostagladin. Ibuprofen blocks the enzyme that makes prostagladin, cyclooxygenase, which results in a lower level of prostaglandin and so reduces pain, inflammation and/or fever.

There have been a few trials done and they have shown that Ibuprofen bring fever down quicker than paracetamol so is recommended as the drug of choice although paracetamol will work.

sneezecakesmum Wed 15-Jun-11 20:07:01

Bubbly - just out of interest, what fever symptoms will it mask? Earache, sore throat, yes, but these are mainly viral and dont need antibx for 3 days or so, but do need pain relief.

I think it is good to know it brings a temp down as meningitis etc often won't respond, so it gives you an idea how serious it is. Yes, I know there is plenty of meningitis fear out there, and that is where I'm going when I say parents need to feel comfortable with what they are doing. It is reassuring to know in the first 12 hours that the temp can be controlled and parents would feel more comfortable with letting a child control the fever naturally after that time.

I think the uneccesary use of antibiotics is a far more worrying problem than treating fevers with anti pyretics. What I would love to see is detailed research proving that leaving fevers is better. From what I've seen so far it only seems to reduce the illness by one day, and the child would have had several days severe discomfort to achieve this. Worth it??

What we need is a group of children never medicated compared to medicated children, and measure blood immunity (if pos) frequency of illnesses etc. I would love definitive answers.

Personally I would only medicate for a very high temp, a very distressed child or pain.

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