Fever in children
Fever reduction yes or no
Fever itself is not a disease
but the oldest defense mechanism of humanity and the necessary reaction of the body to pathogens.
The temperature increase in particular accelerates the functions of the immune system – a prerequisite for winning the fight against bacteria and viruses. The fever optimum for the immune system is 39 to 40 ° C. (The fever optimum is the body temperature at which the immune system achieves its highest performance.) It can often be observed how shortly after the administration of a fever-lowering medication, e.g. a fever suppository that raises the fever back to its original value. In this case, lowering the fever is a burden on the body, since additional energy has to be used to restore the necessary body temperature.
Fever can also be healthy?
If a child gets a high fever within a short period of time (and is just as quickly healthy again), this is considered an indication of a healthy, responsive immune system. A slow rise in temperature, which lasts for two days and then does not exceed 39 ° C, shows that the child as a whole is less resistant. If you have several children, you can observe how differently the children are feverish. The siblings, who feverishly fast and high, are usually healthy again faster.
The question of how high the temperature may rise cannot be answered in general. The degree of an illness cannot be read from measured values. A child who still plays with his dolls or building blocks with a fever of 40 ° C is healthier than a child who lies in bed apathetically at 38.5 ° C. The following rule of thumb can be followed:
Babies who have a fever, newborns with a temperature above 38 ° C and children with a temperature above 40.5 ° C should be introduced to the pediatrician. You will be examined in detail for serious diseases such as meningitis, pneumonia or kidney inflammation.
At what temperature does fever become dangerous?
From 42 ° C, protein structures in the body are destroyed. This is the technical answer to this question, so to speak.
Omit all chemical, fever-lowering agents, they do not bring healing, but only delay the course of the illness. There are also children who, because of the artificial lowering of the temperature, go over the top and are unable to rest.
From practical experience, however, I know that many mothers can sleep better themselves if they give their child a fever suppository in the evening. This often makes you feel good, especially with the first child, if there is not yet so much experience. The mother is then reassured that the fever will no longer increase. It is also important to know that antipyretic agents cannot prevent a febrile seizure. This is a common misconception
If you want to give paracetamol fever suppositories or juice, you must adhere exactly to the dosage. Children are not allowed to have suppositories for adults. An overdose is harmful to the child’s liver.
Risk factor lowering fever
An increasing number of studies indicate that artificially lowering the fever can dramatically increase the death rate. Fever is a healing reaction of the body, if possible it should not be prevented from doing its job. Here are some publications:
Between December 2002 and September 2003, a study was carried out in Miami, Florida to investigate the effects of aggressive fever lowering. In one group of patients, the fever was lowered every six hours as soon as the temperature was above 38.5 ° C. A cooling ceiling was also used from 39.5 ° C. The other group was only treated with an antipyretic from 40 ° C and only until the temperature had dropped below 40 ° C.
The study had to be stopped for ethical reasons after seven deaths were registered in the early antipyretic group, against only one death in the moderately antipyretic group.
Schulman, Carl I., "The Effect of Antipyretic Therapy upon Outcomes in Critically Ill Patients: A Randomized, Prospective Study", SURGICAL INFECTIONS, Volume 6, Number 4, 2005, DOI: 1089 / sur.2005.6.369
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