sick childQuestion: My son is currently having a low-grade fever (37.7 Degree Celsius) for the past 4 days. It increased to 38.0. I have given him Panadol for 4 days. Should I have brought him to the doctor on the first day of fever? How long should I wait for the fever to fully subside, before bringing him to see a doctor?

Answer: Fever is the natural defence of the body to infections, and by itself not unharmful. Doctors treat fever mainly to make the child more comfortable. It is fine for parents to medicate their children in the first 1-2 days of fever. It is more important to know the cause of the fever rather than the actual temperature of duration of fever. Infections like viruses are common, with variable fever duration, and is controlled when the body’s immunity overcome the virus. In contrast, bacterial infections often result in persistent fever until treated with oral antibiotics. Other than fever symptom, the doctor would usually assess the fever syndrome (other symptoms) to determine the likely germ and appropiate treatment.

Dr Liew Woei Kang
Sub-specialty in Allergy, Immunology & Rheumatology

SBCC Baby & Child Clinic, Asthma, Lung, Sleep & Allergy Centre

(Note: Dr Liew Woei Kang is no longer with SBCC Baby & Child Clinic)

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