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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.

Fever of 41C

(51 Posts)
Natsku Sun 17-Apr-16 10:52:08

My 5 year old had fever in the night, checked her temperature at 6 and it was 40 degrees, gave her paracetamol and it went down to 38 but soon went back up again and now its 41 (possibly higher as our thermometer seems to measure low).

She has said a few times that its hard to breathe but now says she can breathe ok. No other worrying symptoms but she says her legs hurt.

I don't want to take her to the doctor unless absolutely necessary as she gets very distressed and I know they will do the fingerprick CRP test and that will be extremely distressing for her so I want to avoid any of that if possible and she is prone to high fevers when ill but 41 is higher than its ever been before. I've given her paracetamol again and she has a cool damp cloth on her forehead and is drinking water - is there anything else I can do to help her? At what point should I take her to the doctor?

SecretSpy Sun 17-Apr-16 10:54:22

41 means you should see a doctor.

I mostly go on ignore the numbers and decide based on how well/unwell the child is. But 41 is very high and needs seeing.

SecretSpy Sun 17-Apr-16 10:55:29

BTW I'm a health professional who doesn't feel the need to take my children to the doctor very often

Natsku Sun 17-Apr-16 11:05:51

Even if it goes down with paracetamol?

Natsku Sun 17-Apr-16 11:08:13

Just measured her now, its gone down to 39.5 at half an hour after the medicine, is that ok or do I still need to take her to the doctor? At least sunday afternoon shouldn't be busy at the emergency room.

AnotherTimeMaybe Sun 17-Apr-16 11:14:30

If it stays down for a few hours it should be ok but if it goes up again soon after it could be bacterial so it's best to take her in to check throat ears chest etc
Good luck

ItsLikeRainOnYourWeddingDay Sun 17-Apr-16 11:19:57

41 is a significant fever and needs investigating!

The fact that she had had trouble breathing as well. Good God, does she need to be unconscious before you take her to be seen? hmm

Bogburglar99 Sun 17-Apr-16 11:21:53

Are you in the UK? 'Emergency room' sounds American?

Both of mine have posted fevers of 41 and 42 on one memorable occasion, but it's unusual and each time it was a bacterial infection in ears or tonsils that needed treating.

If one of mine, in the UK, I would certainly ring 111/out of hours GP for advice, and would be very ready to take them to be seen in person if I had the slightest worry. I have never heard of the finger prick CRP test - is this new, or American? Could you explain to the Drs that it distresses her and see whether they think it is necessary in the circs? If it's a quick way of checking the likelihood of something horrible like meningitis or an overwhelming infection then tbh it may be worth biting the bullet and letting them.

Very best of luck and hope she feels better soon.

Nospringflower Sun 17-Apr-16 11:22:50

If a child has problems breathing they should be seen by a doctor regardless of their temperature.

Natsku Sun 17-Apr-16 11:28:10

I'm in Finland, the CRP test is standard whenever an infection is suspected as its a good indicator if something is bacterial or not. Last time she had one it was horrid and had to be held down by two nurses and me, she has a huge fear of needles.

I'll keep checking her temperature for the next hour and if its still high then I'll take her. Her breathing is fine now, if she has trouble again I'll take her straight away of course.

misspym Sun 17-Apr-16 11:30:35

High temp and leg pain could be an indication of meningitis so I would take her to be checked out.

misspym Sun 17-Apr-16 11:32:04

Common early warning symptoms

Many children who are developing meningitis or septicaemia have nonspecific symptoms such as just feeling or looking generally unwell. These symptoms may include having a high temperature, being more tired than usual and feeling sick.

However, three symptoms that commonly develop early on - often before the more classic symptoms listed later - are:

Leg pains - which can become severe and prevent a child from standing or walking.
Cold hands or feet - even if the child has a high temperature.
Pale or mottled skin
Pale, dusky or blue colour of the skin around the lips.

Does she have any other of the symptoms?

TheLittleFoxes Sun 17-Apr-16 11:36:16

My DD gets temperatures over 40 when she has an infection. Paracetamol doesn't make much difference, ibuprofen works better for her.

Bogburglar99 Sun 17-Apr-16 11:38:46

Poor little love. I understand why you wouldn't want to, but I think checking her out for a nasty bacterial infection such as meningitis is well worth it.

Talk to the Drs - if they are anything like UK ones they will have experience in doing it as quickly and painlessly as possible, and distracting her while they do so.

Good luck.

Haudyerwheesht Sun 17-Apr-16 11:39:44

I really think you should get her seen now

Bogburglar99 Sun 17-Apr-16 11:41:07

I really meant to say 'nasty bacterial infection or meningitis'. Obviously ruling out meningitis would be your first and biggest concern, but if she has nastily infected ears, chest or tonsils she will feel much better with antibiotics, probably worth the brief trauma of them doing the finger prick test.

OrlandaFuriosa Sun 17-Apr-16 11:45:03

Get her checked out. You can alternate ibuprofen and paracetamol and we used to have to do this. But do dv heck her out. Is she alert or listless? If the latter, act immediately. If alert, act now but not quite so urgent, though it can change fast so don't put it off.

Natsku Sun 17-Apr-16 12:16:31

Its gone back up again now so OH is calling the emergency room now. Doesn't have any of those other symptoms misspym but has become lethargic now so must be getting worse. The nurse will give us a time to go in and wait, OH is explaining all the symptoms so hopefully they'll ask us to come in straight away.

DPotter Sun 17-Apr-16 12:20:05

Go now.
Don't waste time phoning - you have a very sick child
Go now

Natsku Sun 17-Apr-16 12:24:42

It doesn't work that way here, you always have to phone first (unless of course its an ambulance situation) and they triage over the phone to decide if you need to come in straight away or at a later time. We're to go in an hour's time.

ShowOfHands Sun 17-Apr-16 12:33:15

Good luck. I've recently had exactly the same experience. Who did I bump into in the out of hours waiting room? DD's best friend and Mum. Both girls had exactly the same symptoms. Fever of 41 and pains, extreme lethargy etc. It was oddly reassuring to know they had something identical. Suggested it wasn't something obscure.

Getting her checked is the right thing to do. Good luck.

ilovemakeupp Sun 17-Apr-16 12:34:06

A temperature that high means it is necessary to visit a doctor as soon as you can.

Natsku Sun 17-Apr-16 12:46:08

You lot are right that she needs to be seen and I probably should have called earlier but she gets high fevers a lot so I guess I'm a bit too used to it.

She's very cheerful though, hopefully she won't get too distressed.

Natsku Sun 17-Apr-16 15:00:09

Doctor checked her over and said just to keep giving meds and make sure she drinks. Didn't do the finger prick as she got so upset. Pretty much what I expected, she's full of beans now so that's good.

misspym Mon 18-Apr-16 08:44:54

How is she now Natsku?

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